Everyone interested in urban and regional economic development must check out this new MPI study, ”Knowledge in Cities.” Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network database – O*NET – it identifies 11 key types of regions by the knowledge, skill, and work they do. Here are some examples of the regional types it defines.
- Enterprising Regions like Chicago, L.A., Miami, and Toronto have high knowledge about sales and marketing, economics and accounting, customer and personal service, and information technology and telecommunications.
- Engineering Regions like San Jose (Silicon Valley) and Calgary are high in engineering and IT; low knowledge about physical and mental health.
- Thinking Regions like New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Portland, Maine, have high knowledge about arts, humanities, IT, and commerce, and low knowledge about manufacturing.
- Making Regions like Detroit have high knowledge about manufacturing, but very low knowledge about commerce and the humanities.
- Building Regions have very high knowledge about construction and transportation.
- Understanding Regions – mainly college towns like Charlottesville, VA, and Iowa City, IA – have very high knowledge about arts, science, humanities, and IT but very low knowledge about manufacturing.
The study also finds that three types of regions – Engineering, Enterprising, and Building Regions – have higher levels of productivity and earnings per capita, while Teaching, Understanding, Working, and Comforting Regions have lower levels of economic development.