In the knowledge economy era, top tier research, education and technology players offer considerable benefits to towns and cities that become their homes. These clusters of innovation and venture capital tend to drive high wage employment which in turn supports the wider service, retail, leisure, culture and property sectors.

Competition to attract these companies and institutions is understandably intense. 
Whether you’re developing a new business park or regenerating a former industrial quarter, you need a place-based strategy, where knowledge, science, the arts and industry are deliberately cultivated and combined, leading to interdisciplinary collaboration and commercial opportunity. Attracting anchor institutions is key, but there are also opportunities to accommodate small businesses and other entrepreneurs, improving economic access for women and underrepresented communities. As ever, the goal should be to drive inclusive growth that is part of the wider fabric of town or city life.

As the graphic below describes, successful innovation districts bring together opportunities for collaboration and social connection, with inspiring workplaces and great transport links. Just some of the reasons they make for such powerful urban regeneration and development.

You can learn more about our approach to innovation districts and knowledge quarters in issue two of Cities Intelligence. Download issue.