Peter Nijkamp

The «resourceful region». A new conceptualisation of regional development strategies

After decades of regional policy experiences in many countries, with varying degrees of success, there is a need for a critical assessment and an exploration of new pathways. This paper provides first an overview of various regional development concepts that have emerged over the course of several decades, like industrial districts, growth centres or regional clusters. We point out similarities and differences in these concepts. The main emphasis of the paper is on the design and relevance of a new conditional framework for regional development, leading to the formulation of a new integrating policy concept, termed «resourceful region».

This concept takes for granted that each region has a portfolio of development possibilities and conditions (resources or capabilities) which should be combined and optimized so as to ensure the highest regional economic and social performance.

We offer an illustration of the relevance of this notion on the basis of the Aviation Valley in South-East Poland, and conclude with some policy and research lessons.

Keywords: regional development; industrial districts; growth centres; regional clusters; resourceful region; economic and social performance