In recent decades, cities have tried to capture the opportunities that arise from knowledge-based industries to secure their economic interests well into the future. In this context, the generation of clusters within the urban structure is believed to encourage the growth of these industrial sectors, either by attracting foreign investment or by facilitating the growth of indigenous firms. High-technology agglomeration constantly requires innovation because in its essence it involves the process of using knowledge (of living organisms and their makeup) and turning that knowledge into new products and services. Therefore, cluster success is not only dependent of its endogenous dynamics; urban planning and institutional and legislative reform are considered a key factor to support its long-term generation and transfer of knowledge. In this context, several initiatives around the world had tried to capitalize on the assets of urban agglomeration through planning policies and plans focused on integrating High Tech activities with renovation programs and infrastructure projects. Concentrations of Higher Education Institutions, venture capital, business incubators and government research institutions, to name a few, are usually targeted in such strategies. This presentation will present some initiatives that have led such trends, with different levels of success. Finally, the case of Melbourne—a city founded on primary industries, gold and manufacturing—will be presented in detail. Today Melbourne’s economy is driven by knowledge-based industries in education, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and design. It is also known as a city for the arts, literature, fashion and major events, making it internationally recognized as a Knowledge City.
|Keywords:||Knowledge-based Economy, Urban Policy, Clusters, Innovation|
PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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