Friday, June 20, 2014

Density Boondoggles: Innovation Districts

Zero-gravity innovation at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Geography of innovation.

Subject Article: "Does Innovation Always Lead to Gentrification?"

Other Links: 1. "Confronting Suburban Poverty in America."
2. "Anchor Institutions and Economic Development: From Community Benefit to Shared Value."
3. "The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America."
4. "Knowhow and the Wealth of Nations: Overcoming the Productivity Curse."
5. "Modeling Migration."
6. "Is Israel Losing Its ‘Startup Nation’ Title?"
7. "Pittsburgh officials put out welcome sign for immigrants."

Postscript: The density fetish is wrapped in Michael Porter's theory about industry clusters. Vivek Wadhwa debunking the cluster myth:

Legions of consultants have been advising regions to build science parks next to research universities and to offer financial incentives to selected industries to locate there, touting Harvard professor Michael Porter’s cluster theory. Porter had observed that geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, and service providers gave certain industries a productivity and cost advantage. His followers postulated that by bringing these ingredients together into a “cluster,” regions could artificially foment innovation.

They couldn’t. The formula doesn’t work. The top-down industry cluster is a modern-day snake oil.  Chile proved that it is people, not industry, who power innovation.

People develop, not places.

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