Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Sep 27th 2010 at 2:57pm UTC

Knowledge in Cities

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.

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