Competition and the Knowledge Economy

As I’ve written in the past (also, here), education centers can be a major force for economic growth and stability in a city. Along those lines, Urban Land recently posted a piece about the benefits of cities attracting medical and education centers.

The idea is that the economy in the United States has shifted from a manufacturing base to a knowledge base. In other words, those places that generate innovation are the ones that succeed economically. And in order to attract that kind of development, cities need to do specific things:

Communities—and developers—seeking to attract medical clusters should be patient and listen to others who have been through the process, says Pelton. “They should build infrastructure that is attractive to scientists and to the institutes, including housing, education, and recreation facilities, a vibrant vendor/supplier network, and a leadership team that is 100 percent committed to success,” he advises.

The article cites numerous examples of cities that attracted medical and educational centers and reaped economic benefits, which I think raises an important point: these facilities don’t end up in random locations. Indeed, they require careful cultivation and circumstances. The logical conclusion, then, is that there is stiff competition among metro areas to attract this kind of development.

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