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The Role of Universities in Building Prosperous Knowledge Cities: The Malaysian Experience

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This paper explores the role and importance of universities, particularly in the Malaysian context, in building prosperous knowledge cities in the rising knowledge economy. It aims to shed light on how universities contribute to the knowledge-based development of Malaysian cities looking at the case of Bandar Seri Iskandar, a knowledge city created from scratch – including the establishment of new public and private universities. Bandar Seri Iskandar provides a unique opportunity to understand how the idea of the knowledge economy has permeated economic development policy within a developing country context. The research findings reveal that in Malaysia, much like many of the developed countries, universities are being positioned to play a major role in supporting knowledge city (trans) formation. While there has been a tangible success in spatial development based on a rapid land-use change towards accommodating knowledge-intensive land use and activities, the research reports that a more concerted and coordinated effort from academia and public and private sectors is needed to foster further the growth and development of economic, environmental, institutional and social aspects of Bandar Seri Iskandar in order for it to become a fully functioning prosperous knowledge city.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2148/benv.37.3.260

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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