Strategic urban planning in Barcelona mainly aims to empower the knowledge economy through attracting and forming high-level human capital and boosting partnerships between universities, private firms, and the public sector. Policies are oriented towards developing strategic sectors such as biotechnologies, ICT, energy, audiovisual, and design. The innovation process takes place in an economic scene characterized by the real estate crash that has given way to alternatives to residential land use. The crisis of some of industrial traditional sectors, which need recuperation or reconversion interventions, has been a factor as well. What are the challenges to be dealt with? What could be critical success factors in the promotion of economic growth and social cohesion? This paper analyzes the example of Barcelona in the production of spaces designed to boost the development of education, research, and technological transfer (from the 22@barcelona to the more recent Ecosistema d’Innovació Barcelonès Nord) and considers the factors that characterize the knowledge society development process. The paper is focused on spatial dynamics, the labour market and governance practices. The study methodology is based on interviews with key actors, quantitative data, and field study activity.
|Keywords:||Innovation, Knowledge Economy, Human Capital, Social Cohesion, Research and Development|
Researcher, Dipartimento di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali, Università degli Sudi, Cagliari, Italy