Innovation Districts Represent New Urban Model

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators – “innovation districts” – are part of a new urban model, according to The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America, a new paper from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. “Innovation districts represent an intentional effort to create new products, technologies, and market solutions through the convergence of disparate sectors and specializations (e.g., information technology and bioscience, energy, or education),” rather than focusing on specific industries. The paper argues that “innovation districts help address three of the main challenges of our time: sluggish growth, national austerity and local fiscal challenges, rising social inequality, and extensive sprawl and continued environmental degradation.”