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The Hard and Soft side of European Knowledge Regions Klankbordgroep meeting HELP UVA-VU 2 oktober 2013 Dr. Bart Sleutjes Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA)

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Presentation on theme: "The Hard and Soft side of European Knowledge Regions Klankbordgroep meeting HELP UVA-VU 2 oktober 2013 Dr. Bart Sleutjes Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Hard and Soft side of European Knowledge Regions Klankbordgroep meeting HELP UVA-VU 2 oktober 2013 Dr. Bart Sleutjes Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA)

2 Literature review: Rise of the creative knowledge city Typologies of knowledge cities Location theory Previous research on residential preferences of (European) knowledge workers Qualitative study 22 interviews with 31 experts in four city regions: Strengths and weaknesses of regions Residential patterns of creative and technical workers First work package: meta analysis

3 The rise of the knowledge city Since 1990s: transformation to new economy: shift from physical capital to human capital as main economic assets Urban turn in spatial policy, stimulated by EU Lisbon Agenda (2000) Different development paths of European cities, based on (variation of) economic structure, knowledge institutions and quality of life Stars, nicheplayers, knowledge pearls, intellectuals, metropoles in transition Cities with strong creative sectors profit most from globalisation (Scott, 2006) Growing importance of soft location factors: quality of life and place

4 Classic location theory: capital, skilled labour force, infrastructure, institutional context Social capital and personal networks: family, friends and professional ties determine location behaviour of people and companies People-based perspective: skills steer economic growth attracted by good peoples climate Location theory: 3 strands

5 Creative Class Theory (Florida, 2002): diversity and tolerance attract workers Human capital and (climatic) amenities are main drivers of urban growth (Glaeser et al., 2001) Amenities are principal drivers of growth (Clark et al. 2002) Critics: US-centered, suggest uniform creative class, underestimation of employment and personal trajectories, overestimation of soft conditions People-based perspective to economic growth

6 General: location decisions in Europe steered by employment opportunities and personal relations Soft conditions play –if at all a secondary role, and not more for knowledge workers than for others (e.g. Martin-Brelot et al., 2010, Hansen & Niedomysl, 2009) Differences in preferences determined by age, life phase and lifestyle (e.g. Hansen & Niedomysl, 2009; Frenkel et al., 2013; Andersen et al., 2010): age <35 and bohemians more urban careerists and families more suburban Observed, but disputed, differences between occupational groups: cultural industries highly urban (Markusen, 2006; Smit, 2012) ICT more mixed preferences, also suburban (Van Oort et al., 2003) Residential preferences of European knowledge workers

7 The attractiveness of Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Copenhagen and Helsinki

8 + accessibility: Schiphol as hub + very diverse economy attractive to large range of talents… - …but perhaps too diverse: no excellent sectors difficult to market region and attract specific groups - complaints about dulling of inner city due to restrictive policies + high scores on quality of life: authentic inner city; diverse set of amenities, large cultural offer + tolerant image; diverse, international population + increasing supply of highly urban residential milieus for higher income groups and families (e.g. waterfront developments) -- Problematic housing market: expensive and lack of middle-price segment, difficult to enter (especially for outsiders) exclude knowledge workers with lower incomes (creatives) in central parts Amsterdam: I Amsterdam

9 + Strong but specialized economy: large high-tech firms and ecosystems (e.g., Philips, ASML) + Recent growth in creative clusters (design) + Strong p.p.p.s in Triple Helix (Brainport) - Small scale: lack of critical mass, shortage of labour dependence on international workers + For city of 200,000 good cultural offer events + Tradition with in-migration tolerant attitude + Large supply of family dwellings in green area… - …but lack of affordable apartments in urban setting - Lack of urban atmosphere large village Eindhoven: the Dutch Brainport

10 + Strong cluster policy: Medicon Valley, lifetech + Accessibility: low level of congestion, excellent public transport, good airport - High intraregional competition - Uniform urban policies threaten diversity - Restrictive immigration policies conflict with needs of local business + Safe city: low (but rising) levels of crime, social equity + Good cultural offer - High costs of housing and living - Closed society, no international vibe Copenhagen: The Human Capital

11 + Strong profile in IT and design, rise of gaming sector decreasing dependency on Nokia + Partnerships municipalities/universities stimulating entrepreneurship to compensate job losses Nokia + Strategic location (Russia, Baltic region) - Still rather homogeneous economic profile + Safe city, high equality + Good cultural offer, recently flexible policies regarding events - Cold climate (but Nordic oddity as unique strength?) - Closed society, not very international - High housing prices and costs of living Helsinki: beyond the Finnish miracle

12 No clear concentration patterns of highly-educated workers per se in all 4 city regions depends on income, age and lifestyle Exception: creative workers / cultural industries in city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, and transformed industrial heritage sites: Amsterdam: inner city, 19th century ring, Minervahaven, Noord, Weesperzijde Eindhoven: inner city, Strijp-S, Strijp-R, NRE-site Explanation: difference between symbolic and analytic knowledge bases: Creative workers need buzz meet others to get ideas and projects Analytic workers do not need to mingle with colleagues in spare time Where do knowledge workers live?

13 The knowledge worker does not exist: Differences between creatives and technicians Differences regarding demographic features (age, household composition) and lifestyle Hard factors (work) and personal trajectories outweigh soft factors in choice for region Demographic aspects, knowledge base and lifestyle determine location within region But soft factors are necessary as secondary conditions On soft side, housing is most important, and problematic in all four cities Conclusions

14 Be careful with adopting Florida-paradigm: At regional level jobs are more important than urban milieus integral policies more likely to be successful Not all knowledge workers prefer diverse urban milieus Paradox: uniform urban policies might make city even less attractive and/or accessible for people with most urban preferences Housing: more dwellings needed in middle-segment, more short-stay facilities for expats National level: restrictive immigration policies may hamper regional labour demand Policy recommendations

15 Questions? Contact: Thank you for your attention.

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