«Knowledge Economy, Cultural and University Planning: The major driving factors of Territorial Attractiveness and Competitiveness? International Comparisons»
29 – 30 JUNE 2011 MEDDTL Grande Arche de La Défense Arche Sud Conference Room 1
Public and private institutions such as universities, research groups and foundations, firms, institutes of higher education, etc…, the so-called “Knowledge industries” (Kunzmann, 2006), develop and promote knowledge at a local scale. At the same time, they are obliged to deal with a global market, according to a process of re-scaling. The complexity of the re-scaling process is posed combining two main scales: the local scale approach, is necessary in order to identify what the (social, economic and spatial) factors of urban attractiveness are and in which way they can be taken into account in the university planning projects (of course avoiding the standardization and the gentrification of spaces) (Zukin, 1995, 2010, etc..) ; on the other side, even if the measurement of territorial competitiveness effects can be defined at a global scale, decision-makers must pay attention to the inhabitants quality of life too. It means that both scales must be taken into account at the same time. In both case the problem is of creating (or strengthening) the territorial identity, by mean of marketing approaches based on brands, often emphasized by a label. This is why, more and more territories are identified by a progressive clustering approach. A cluster is a specific area that doesn’t easily integrate with all others urban functions. Thus, some criticisms emerge concerning the progressive “clustering” territory process. In the context of advanced economies, the university comes back as one of the key-actors of the urban growth. In the French case, for example, some reorganization of higher education was needed as the current system of universities and Grandes Ecoles does not score well in the Shanghai league tables. The ministry’s PRES (Pôles de Recherche et Enseignement Supérieur) aim to cluster institutions while the Plan Campus is putting money into the architectural and urban renewal. This allows us to imagine a new role for universities, embedded in the cultural equipment system. The necessity to reorganize the French universities, sometimes located in suburban campus (new or refurbished), demonstrates the difficulty in structuring a real territorial project which can include these places in broader processes of cultural and creative production. This symposium aims to identify how these problems are taken into account in the other countries. • Main Questions How can urban policies deal with knowledge, economy and culture in the process of construction of attractiveness and of territorial competitiveness? How do institutional actors take hold of notions such as culture, knowledge and innovation in order to ameliorate the economical structure and the social condition of their territories? Particularly, why should world cities, already well equipped in infrastructure and services, focus on knowledge based economies and on innovation? Which are the forms and the dimensions of attractiveness? How can universities, research institutes and more generally, knowledge industries, participate to structure this attractiveness? How can we define the relations between places of knowledge production, knowledge transmission and the city? The multipurpose use of networks. These questions concern large metropolitan areas as well as small and medium-sized cities.