innovation wave

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The diffusion of an innovation from its point of origin. Beginning at the innovation epicentre, it is adopted by a very few, close to the focus. Through time, the peak of the wave moves away from the source as more distant locations adopt the innovation. Consolidation follows across the whole of the region concerned; finally, as the innovation saturates the region, diffusion slows down until the stage of maximum acceptance.

An innovation wave may occur when the larger cities take up the innovation, which then filters down the urban hierarchy. The largest cities have benefited from many innovation cycles, and, in consequence, have developed a broader diversity of activities, and attained higher levels of social and organizational complexity—thus making them more likely to adopt further innovations (Pumain et al. (2006) Cybergeo:systèmes, modèl., géostat. 343).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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