Knowledge Economy Spaces: Barcelona’s Experience

By Riccardo Piras.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.85-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.059MB).

Riccardo Piras

Researcher, Dipartimento di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali, Università degli Sudi, Cagliari, Italy

Riccardo Piras has a political science degree from the University of Cagliari and a Master’s degree in territorial planning from the University of Barcelona. He is researcher at the Department of Economic and Social Research of the University of Cagliari in Italy. He is interested in strategic territorial planning and urban governance processes.