This text addresses key issues of understanding in contemporary economic geography and local economic policy-making in cities and regions in the advanced economies. It develops the theme that innovation is the main driving force behind economic change and growth. The emphasis is on the ways in which knowledge and information may be acquired and linked through networks. The contributors show that there are empirical examples of innovative areas which do not have highly developed networks and yet appear to be relatively successful in terms of local economic growth. This leads to questions of the ways in which regions or localities might be described as truly "learning" areas. Finally, some difficult questions are raised concerning the sustainability of future economic and quality of life success based on innovation and high-technology.