Urban thinker Julie Wagner describes how so-called innovation districts in cities around the world evolve or are planned, and how their reliance on the physical and the local — in even the most high tech of industries — serves to foster creativity and collaboration.
“Innovation districts [are] a story of evolution”, says Julie Wagner. “There is no endpoint. There is no endgame. It is a process of growth, discovery, experimentation, evolution, adaptation. This is what this is, and it should be building on your natural strengths and the investments that you have laid in the decades prior”.
She adds: “Interestingly, a number of these innovation districts are finding that the secret to their success is to go small, to take a nodal approach, to go maybe within a block radius or along a particular corridor, and really concentrate their efforts there. To have a critical mass of economic actors and start-ups and accelerators and corporate R&D facilities.”