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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Boosting the Economy with Innovation Districts

I came across this paper on the Brookings Institute site. The title is "One Year After: Observations on the Rise of Innovation Districts" and is written by Bruce Katz, Jennifer S. Vey, and Julie Wagner.

The concept is a good one. Create an area in an urban district that brings together a diverse group of companies and individual businesses that feed off each other in terms of innovation and development. Brainstorming at the macro level, if you will. This collaboration self-perpetuates by growing new businesses and creating jobs. If people are encouraged to stay in the area after hours this produces more opportunities to network and invites the cross-pollination of ideas. If located in a depressed urban area there is a potential to develop the area economically and increase tax revenue. Extend this idea further and now we have new educational opportunities, increased knowledge and a more motivated work force.

This isn't a new idea. Artists and writers hanging out together in 19th and early 20th century Paris provided enough competition and motivation to create new ways of thinking. More recently, technology benefited greatly from the concentration of like-minded businesses in Silicon Valley.

If the use of Innovation Districts, Artist's Colonies or Technological Corporate Parks stimulates the rise of innovations and personal creativity, then that sounds like a good idea to me.

To read this paper in its entirety, see the post here.