Globalization brings about a new spatial dynamic characterized by the simultaneous dispersion and concentration of advanced services. The new centrality provides a negative answer to the opinion about the world as a mere borderless space of flows; instead, without denying the role of flows, it upholds that place still matters in the global network. For the competitiveness of places in the global network, what is brand new is a radical change in the meaning of knowledge. Knowledge is now rapidly becoming the basic means of production, sidelining capital, natural resources, and labor. Therefore, it is especially valued for the place to facilitate the knowledge network, which, in effect, enables the place to be a learning region and changes the landscape of knowledge infrastructures accordingly. Universities have to reposition themselves as players within a multipole network of knowledge producers and users instead of trying to preserve their hierarchical position at the top of the knowledge pyramid. This works at two levels. At the global level, universities link up a place and a region with the knowledge centers of the world through crossborder flows of people and knowledge. At the local level, universities perform as the main knowledge supplier in the changing urban socio-spatial structure, as the source of local economic development, and as the locus of cultivating human capital and social capital. Universities begin to walk out of the ivory tower and strive to generate, translate, and implement new ideas into the society. University spatial planning, as a kind of activity to coordinate the spatial impacts of all the influencing factors, becomes the most active field to examine the university’s changing role in the global economic system.
|Keywords:||Globalization, Knowledge, Network, University, Spatial Planning|
PhD Student, Department of Architecture and Planning, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy