Cities and the Knowledge Economy is an in-depth, interdisciplinary, international and comparative examination of the relationship between knowledge and urban development in the contemporary era. Through the lenses of promise, politics and possibility, it examines how the knowledge economy has arisen, how different cities have sought to realise its potential, how universities play a role in its realisation and, overall, what this reveals about the relationship between politics, capitalism, space, place and knowledge in cities.
The book argues that the 21st century city has been predicated on particular circuits of knowledge that constitute expertise as residing in elite and professional epistemic communities. In contrast, alternative conceptions of the knowledge society are founded on assumptions which take analysis, deliberation, democracy and the role of the citizen and communities of practice seriously. Drawing on a range of examples from cities around the world, the book reflects on these possibilities and asks what roles the practice of ‘active intermediation’, the university and a critical and engaged social scientific practice can all play in this process.
The book is aimed at researchers and students from different disciplines – geography, politics, sociology, business studies, economics and planning – with interests in contemporary urbanism and the role of knowledge in understanding development, as well as urban policymakers, politicians and practitioners who are concerned with the future of our cities and seek to create coalitions of different communities oriented towards more just and sustainable futures.
"May and Perry bring rare methodological skill and grounded political insights to demonstrate that it is possible to shift the urban knowledge economy to work for all citizens. Theirs is a creative partnership that foregrounds the transformative potential of universities (and scholars) as knowledge brokers and agents of economic change." — Professor Susan Parnell, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa
"May and Perry go digging into today’s dominant notions about what is good for a city, especially the much admired advances coming from the sciences and technology. They re-emerge with facts and possibilities that often run against ‘what we know’, to the delight of some and horror of others." — Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, USA, author of Expulsions
"In Cities and the Knowledge Economy…Tim May and Beth Perry critique the dynamics of knowledge sharing within the global urban economy. The authors have a strong point of view and…consistently raise critical issues throughout their work. This volume’s most sophisticated and interesting arguments are those advocating for a greater role for democracy, public participation, and community participation in the development of the knowledge economy." — Steven Cohen, Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs in Journal of International Affairs , Vol. 72, No. 1, pp. 182-184
1. The Knowledge Economy
2. Cities as Sites of Intervention
3. Game of Scales
4. Universities as Engines of Growth
5. Knowing the City
6. Excavating Alternatives in the Shadows of the Knowledge Economy
7. Critique and transformation in the ‘real’ university
8. Organising for Participative Futures
The Earthscan Science in Society Series aims to publish new high quality research, teaching, practical and policy- related books on topics that address the complex and vitally important interface between science and society.