The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 № 1

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Coastal agglomerations and the transformation of national innovation spaces



In this article, I discuss the role of coastal agglomerations in the territorial heterogeneity of the world economy and the global innovation space. I pay particular attention to how prox­imity to the sea and ocean coasts influences the dynamics of innovation processes. I analyse coastalisation (the movement of economic activity and population to coastal zones) by con­sidering the effects and inland diffusion of the exceptionally high innovative potential of coastal agglomerations. I put forward the hypothesis that coastal agglomerations are the most important transformational elements of a national innovation system. Further, I outline and systematise findings dealing with the specifics of innovative processes taking place in coastal agglomerations under the influence of the agglomerative and coastal factors. The result of this study is a comparison and assessment of the mutual influence of the two effects of spatial development that translate into the unique identity of coastal zone cities: urbanisa­tion and coastalisation.