Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Development Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Throughout the history of humankind, urban development and socioeconomic progress have gone hand in hand, and they are supported through technological advancements. In other words, since the dawn of our civilisation, societies have been shaping and at the same time being shaped by the economic factors, advancing technologies, and the environment around them. In this context, generation of new knowledge has always been the most powerful leverage for development, and the main driver of our technosocial progress. Many scholars claim that knowledge plays a key role in today’s economy. This is basically an understatement. It might be more accurate to state that knowledge is the most valuable commodity and thus it is the economy itself for much of the developed world. This is just to say, for those cities, societies, and nations that have not been part of the global knowledge economy or society, achieving and sustaining a prosperous development is merely a hallucination. Today, knowledge generation in the scientific, engineering and artistic forms has been a priority for many of the global city administrations.
This gives us hope in continuing our progress and also finding possible remedies to the ills we have created along the journey. Presently, there is a growing consensus among the scholars, planners, politicians, and industrialists in identifying knowledge-based urban development as a potential panacea to the burgeoning economic problems of our cities, societies and nations. In the era of global knowledge economy, knowledge-based urban development is a critical policy mechanism for economic success. However, it is not solely an economic policy in nature. Knowledge-based urban development is a policy that targets building urban settings to form perfect climates for businesses, people, and governance systems in environmentally friendly atmospheres. Each of these climates corresponds to a specific domain of knowledge-based urban development: economy, society, space, and governance.
It is also important to note that a sustained prosperity can only be maintained through a balanced approach in establishing healthy links among all of these development domains. Urban administrators all across the globe, thus, need to seek ways to form and implement locally tailored appropriate knowledge-based urban development policies for creating their sustainable and prosperous urban futures.