Sunday, August 31, 2014

••• READ FIRST, an introduction •••


October 1st, 2017 Jane Talkington, PhD innovation and sustainability scholar, strives to maintain a list of self-defined "innovation districts" in the U.S. There are now over 90 examples of communities pursuing an innovation-driven economy through the establishment of an innovation district (terminology varies among these developments). 

Dr. Talkington's 2016 dissertation was one of the first research publications to cover the innovation district phenomenon. This book puts innovation districts in context of other historical innovation communities that innovated for survival, economic development, or other goals. This book is a valuable resource for anyone planning or promoting an innovation district and contains hundreds of peer-reviewed references. 




Other resources:

A shout out goes to McGill University for (officially) recognizing and infusing "social and culture: as a pillar in the foundation of their innovation district. Context, Context, Context!
Click • HERE • to explore the four pillars.

A highly regarded contribution to innovation district planning comes an excellent report "Austin Anchors & The Innovation Zone: Building Collaborative Capacity" – download the PDF here. 

Milwaukee's Mayor released a strategic plan about collaboration over competition; this is the 21st century approach.  

Creating a community of technology innovators was a DREAM of Walt Disney. In 1966, Walt saw his concept as a grand experiment; in fact, he called it the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. He died within months of unveiling his lifelong dream and those who inherited his plans scaled them back to a theme park called EPCOT that celebrated innovation rather than a living, breathing, thriving community of innovator. Walt understood the benefits from PROXIMITY of his talent: visit minute 26:15 on this Disney documentary.

Video of a very cool innovation district: Cornell Tech. Hear the designers describe a "co-location" building at minute 3:10.

Innovation Anywhere? Evidently. See how Wichita State University dozens of discussions about innovation districts with their campus community. Their 3-D video flyover shows an early version of their vision. Forbes Magazine article July 2017 reinforces that innovation districts happen in small and large cities – wherever networks are created.

As of 2015, there were 9 states in the U.S. with no evidence – publicly available at least – specifically on "innovation district" planning. Either those plans are private, the label is unique, they eluded my Google search radar, the city is so drenched in innovation they defy or shun a formal label (think Boulder or Crystal City or Las Vegas). Many traditional university research parks are intentionally evolving into innovation districts so as they make that formal declaration, they are added to the list. To get a very good and quick historical primer from the economic development perspective read Ed Morrison of Purdue.

What is an Innovation District Anyway???

"a collaboration by a city-college-corporation 
that creates a connective corridor 
designed specifically to foster a community network
that supports innovation between a campus and collaborators."


Bruce Katz of The Brookings Institute gave order to the Wild West of innovation district development by defining them by three typologies in his book "The Rise of Innovation Districts": The “anchor plus” model, the “re-imagined urban areas” model, and "urbanized science park" model.Anchor Plus examples: Cortex St. Louis, Kendall Square in Cambridge with a start-up incubator, University City in Philadelphia, Re-imagined Urban Areas: South Lake Union in Seattle, Boston Seaport, Brooklyn Navy Yard.Urbanized Science Parks: Research Park Triangle in Raleigh-Durham, University of Arizona Tech Park, University of Virginia.

The BLOG by Bruce on the Brookings Website is an excellent source for current innovation district progress. Watch Bruce's 23-minute presentation.



From the Brookings slideshow: When 75% of the nation's GDP is generated in these 100 metros, you can predict where the next wave of innovation districts will likely emerge.

This begs the question, if a city is NOT in the green dot. . .  do they have the underlying assets, networks, capital, expertise, and commitment to even consider establishing an innovation district? Anthony Flint at CITY LAB explores the question HERE.

And now a little humor from the Onion as they poke fun at Innovation District funding.

1 comment:

  1. I developed iNeighborhoods.us for the specific purpose of accelerating the development of inclusive Smart Cities.

    Our work was also recently published in the St. Louis Chapter of Smart Economy in Smart Cities. Published by Springer.

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