Urban Governance and Social Innovation

Making waves

the valuation of innovations in San Sebastian’s surf economy


This study takes a valuation perspective to study how and where products and innovations are gaining ‘economic significance’ in the contemporary economy.

Building on a recent research stream in economic geography and urban and regional studies, it highlights that the economic value of many products is not formed within production systems alone, but relies on co-constructed connections between production and consumption systems, playing out across multiple geographies. It distinguishes between three types of economic valuation pathways – namely technical, experiential and identity-based – which although analytically distinct may actually build and reinforce one another. This approach is empirically illustrated with the case of the surf-related economy in the city of San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain), which is used to make a broader point about the growing relevance of a valuation approach to understand competitive advantage and economic renewal in localized production systems.

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Reference Carvalho, L., & van Winden, W. (2017). Making waves: the valuation of innovations in San Sebastian’s surf economy. European Planning Studies, Volume 26-2018(1), 75-93.
Published by  CAREM 5 September 2017

Publication date

Sep 2017


L. Carvalho

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