Knowledge City Manifesto
The Knowledge City idea is
the newest and hottest emerging dimension of the
knowledge-based economy. In the knowledge economy, human
development depends not on having more but by being more –
becoming a co-creator of the future of humanity.
Not since the historical
Greek Polis, has a new urban formation been so prospective for
democracy, as is the emerging Knowledge City. If the means of
production now truly reside in the minds of the producers then
there will spread more equality of opportunity, since anyone
can have a great idea. The Knowledge City is the culmination
and synthesis of the “creative city”, the “science
city” and the "digital city" where arts and
sciences become unified in a uniquely human twenty-first
Century urban ecology powered by advances in technological
Knowledge cities are actively
interested in increasing their innovative capabilities in
supporting business, education and the arts so that their
individual citizens are inspired and energized by knowledge.
Knowledge cities learn from one another about the policies and
approaches that can engender dynamic and co-creative
communities. These Knowledge Zones - now crossing geographic
and industry boundaries - are becoming linked communities of
innovation practice in which ideas flow from the point of
origin to the point of need or opportunity.
Cities that believe firmly in
a new perspective of development, which is based on knowledge
and innovation, have an active interest in participating as a
co-founding and co-creating member partner of a Knowledge
Cities Observatory – that is, an active community of
knowledge sensitive cities that will rapidly learn from each
other. Because diversity is a key to effective
cross-fertilization of ideas, the Observatory includes small
and large cities – urban or rural – those with an old
historical heritage and also newly established ones from the
six continents of our world. The pre-condition for
participation is the willingness to share the experience with
other members of the Observatory.
The Observatory provides
long-term observation and wide perspectives on the strategies,
the conditions, the intangible aspects, the dynamics of
socio-economic development, and the human issues that create a
mature and successful Knowledge City.
Each city member will appoint
executive liaisons that will participate in the Knowledge
Cities meetings, and bring back the insights, learning,
findings and tools. This will typically be a senior official,
such as the mayor, economic development executive, head of
renewal plan, and the like. Each city member of the
observatory has surely a wealth of unique expertise, methods,
insights and practices that can be contributed and will enrich
the best-practices body of knowledge.
development is the perfect new medium in which to grow more
livable, stimulating, cleaner, intelligent, enlightened,
tolerant and meaningful communities worldwide. The Knowledge
City is the first new urban formation tailored for the needs
of a knowledge economy where ideas rule and there are infinite
recipes for innovation and new wealth creation.
To achieve innovation beyond
the regeneration of industrialized areas, the main challenge
of a city council is to build a community of communities as
the essence of its governance. This is in the very nature of
the “polis” because individuals make meaning of
information and convert it into action from ideas nurtured in
communities. New think tanks and emerging communities in a
city are groups of people that receive institutional
recognition to search for new knowledge.
Mayors are the new knowledge
architects who can turn their cities into knowledge cities. In
an era where there is growing unease, dissatisfaction and
distrust in current governance regimes, these new architects
of the Knowledge City can facilitate new forms of citizenship
based on openness, transparency and accountability.
© 2004 EG/A – ENTOVATION Group Alliance for the Knowledge
Prepared for the E100
Roundtable in Barcelona - November 13-17, 2004.