Innovation Districts: The Next Big Urban Idea

In his look ahead to the big idea that will shape 2014, Bruce Katz identifies the emergence of the "Innovation District" - a shift in the "spatial geography of innovation" from isolated corporate campuses to mixed-use urban districts.

1 minute read

January 1, 2014, 7:00 AM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Boston innovation district banner with lofts

izzointeractive / flickr

"For the past fifty years, the landscape of innovation has been epitomized by regions like Silicon Valley — suburban corridors of spatially isolated corporate campuses, accessible only by car, with little emphasis on the quality of life or on integrating work, housing and recreation," explains Katz, Director of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. "That model now appears outdated."

In cities like Atlanta, Cambridge, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Louis a new model is emerging. "This new model — the Innovation District — clusters leading-edge anchor institutions and cutting-edge innovative firms, connecting them with supporting and spin-off companies, business incubators, mixed-use housing, office, retail and 21st century urban amenities," writes Katz.

Monday, December 30, 2013 in The Brookings Institution

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