U.S. Mayors Are Backing Innovation Districts To Transform Cities’ Brands (via Skift)

Greg Oates - July 12, 2017

Mayors across the U.S. are investing significant resources to develop what the Brookings Institution calls “innovation districts,” in an attempt to accelerate urban and economic development, catalyze job growth, and shift their cities’ reputations toward being incubators for progress.

These districts are also providing a new type of idea collision space during meetings and conferences for visiting organizations to engage local tech and creative thought leaders in different growth industries.

According to the House of Logistics & Mobility in Frankfurt: “The city of the future is an interdisciplinary knowledge sharing machine.” Innovation districts, then, are designed to be the engine powering the machine.

But what are they exactly? You can’t always see innovation districts physically in their entirety, beyond the buildings they inhabit, anymore than you can “see” Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, although people are attempting to do just that.

Rather, like Silicon Valley, innovation districts are a packaged network of public and private organizations intentionally located in close proximity for the purpose of sharing knowledge generated across a wide range of fields.

Another example of the concept in action is Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Harvard and MIT are surrounded by a vibrant startup community and hyper-caffeinated neighborhoods full of creative spaces for brainy people. Much of the city is basically one big creative space that benefits from the convergence of multidisciplinary research and development within its environs, far exceeding the sum of its parts.

Read the full story at Skift.com

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