Title: City-regions, innovation challenges and universities: (new) shifts in the UK urban governance institutions

Authors: Fumi Kitagawa, Susan Robertson

Addresses: Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC), Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Harold Hankins Building, Booth Street West, Manchester, M15 6PB, UK. ' Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA, UK

Abstract: The concept of |city-regions| has gained popularity in both policy and theoretical discourses in the UK. This is accelerated by the recent new government policy landscape and |scalar| shifts in economic and social developments, particularly in England. However, there is a lack of clear understanding of the influences of such spatial processes in the city-region innovation agenda, including their affect upon the promotion of knowledge flows from universities into the city-region, the roles that a variety of new actors and agencies in the city-region play in enabling innovation, and how intermediary organisations are involved in promoting innovation. Drawing on a qualitative case study of Bristol city-region, the development and evolution of what we might call a new |knowledge space| for innovation agenda, are illustrated. Universities are playing a leading role in forming |urban governance institutions| at the city-region level. Thus, the city-region is evolving into a set of institutional frameworks for urban governance aiming to work together through cross-border partnerships. However, we conclude by arguing that the openness of the city-region as political, economic and social space is still contested conditioned by current political relationships, the lack of vertical strategic coordination, and the limit of resource allocation.

Keywords: knowledge-based economies; universities; innovation challenges; technology networks; innovation networks; urban governance; local economic development; UK; United Kingdom; knowledge-based development; higher education; city-regions; knowledge flows; knowledge economy; political relationships; vertical strategic coordination; resource allocation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2011.041247

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 2011 Vol.2 No.2, pp.185 - 201

Published online: 14 Jul 2011 *

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