Title: Urban knowledge arenas: dynamics, tensions and potentials

Authors: Tim May

Addresses: Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF), University of Salford, 1st Floor, 113-115 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 6DW, UK

Abstract: This article examines the relations between the knowledge economy and the modes of developing processes between cities and universities for socio-economic development. It starts by considering discourses on the knowledge economy that raise expectations through the circulation of ideas according to their transferability on the market and a desire to place cities on global hierarchies. Such processes do not tend to be subject to interrogation in terms of |how| different parties can work together in ways that either enable or constrain their practice. The article therefore describes work conducted in the Greater Manchester region on collaborations to enhance city development. It is argued that expectations and actual efforts lie in tension. A resulting gap allows the perpetuation of discourses that exacerbate, rather than address, issues that arise in the implementation of ambitions. The lessons outlined in the article are designed to tackle these and produce more context-sensitive understandings for greater benefit.

Keywords: space; knowledge economy; policy; place; universities; partnerships; higher education; socio-economic development; urban development; urban knowledge; cities; UK; United Kingdom; Manchester; knowledge-based development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2011.041244

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 2011 Vol.2 No.2, pp.132 - 147

Published online: 14 Jul 2011 *

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