Knowledge City (KC)

For the Australian firm SGS the term Knowledge City is short hand for a regional economy driven by high value added exports created through research, technology and brainpower [1] . Edvinsson defines Knowledge City as “a city that is purposefully designed to encourage the nurturing of knowledge”[2] . We suggest that a KC is one that searches for the creation of value in all its areas and develops high standards of life, cultural support and economic development, among other aspects. Compared to other cities in advanced economies, we have found that KCs invest significantly more of the community’s income in education, training and research.


Based in different viewpoints [3] , we propose the following common KC attributes[4]


:: Creation of more rewarding and well paid employment;

:: Faster growth in community income and wealth;

:: A more sustainable economy;

:: Promotion of measured risk taking that helps build an entrepreneurial culture;

:: Creation and innovation are central elements of its development;

:: Constant connection between universities/enterprise/creators;

:: Leader in cultural production and the culture industry;

:: Instruments that make knowledge accessible to citizen;

:: Access to the new communication technologies for all citizens;

:: Network of school connected;

:: Leader in the incorporation of premise of the digital area;

:: An urban design and architecture that incorporate the new technologies;

:: Uses and exploits its monumental, architectural and natural heritage as one of its main factors of attractiveness; and

:: Improved capacity to improve and repair the environment, and greater community commitment to pro-environment decision making.


SGS identifies seven key success factors: Skills; Research excellence; Networks of commercial influence; A business culture which is at once collaborative and competitive; Infrastructure for connectivity; Market access and awareness; and, Open, tolerant and merit based culture and inclusive society.


Carrillo [5] suggests the following KC success factors for KBD initiatives:


:: A leadership committed, above all, with the sustainable wellbeing of its community

:: A critical mass of change agents having a sufficient understanding of the qualitative differences of KBD

:: A conceptual and technical capacity to articulate and develop the social system of capitals

:: A rigorous and transparent state of knowledge-based social capital

:: A series of strategic initiatives to reach an optimal capital balance, feeding on best global practices

:: An international network of relationships with leading entities in knowledge-based innovation.


Other related terms such as Knowledge Village, Knowledge Island, Knowledge Region, Knowledge Country, etc., are subsumed within the concept of KC for the purpose of this work.


[1]SGS economic & planning (2002), Knowledge cities, Bulletin Urbecon.

[2]Edvinsson cited at Dvir, Ron (2003), Innovation Engines for Knowledge Cities: Historic and contemporary snap shots

[3]Culture, the motor of the knowledge city – Strategic Plan of the Cultural Sector of Barcelona. See also SGS economic & planning (2002), Knowledge cities, Bulletin Urbecon

[4] A compilation of resources on Knowledge Cities and Knowledge-based Development Knowledge-based Development II:Knowledge Cities, Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 8, Number 5, 2004

[5] Carrillo, F.J. (2003), A note on Knowledge-based Development, Center for Knowledge Systems (CKS)