[E100 Barcelona Alert #5] - Our Knowledge Cities Manifesto

Dear E100:

Image from the cover of: The Timeless Way of Building
Our 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 communication.

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.

Knowledge-based urban 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 Cities Observatory
Prepared for the E100 Roundtable in Barcelona - November 13-17, 2004.


And so, each of you as members of the E100 should consider sharing this Manifesto with your own local press. Take it to the Editor...let others know what is happening worldwide and they have a part to play in innovating their own communities. When published, we can add to our PressRoom.

Let me know your progress!

En route to Barcelona...


"Imagine the greatest possible beauty and harmony in the world - the most beautiful place you have ever seen or dreamt of. You have the power to create it, at this moment, just as you are."
-Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building


Debra M. Amidon
Founder and CEO
ENTOVATION International Ltd.
2 Reading Avenue, Suite 300
Wilmington, MA 01887 USA
T: 978/988-7995
F: 978/863-0124
E-mail: debra@entovation.com
URL: http://www.entovation.com

"Innovating our future...together."

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