While discussing innovative cities, one can’t help but think about those that were major catalysts for change in the past: Athens, Istanbul, Hong Kong, and Florence, for example. But how do they compare to more modern innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley, London, or Singapore? In this article, we’ll look at Florence - and 10 recognizable and applicable elements that contributed to its success throughout the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. We’ll also look at how Florence spurs innovation today.
We increasingly see the world and much of its innovation through the lens of cities not countries, but there is little clarity around where the true innovation hotspots of today, let alone tomorrow, are to be found. While there is general agreement around which are the most innovative countries, the lack of consensus around the criteria used to identify an innovative city has produced multiple views and varied answers. If we want to understand more about the approaches that are the most effective in leading locations, we must decide on the best way to assess which cities are the most innovative.