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Urban Research in the Knowledge Economy: Content, Context and Outlook

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As discourses of knowledge-based growth and their spatial implications have taken hold, the presuppositions about the relationship between urban research and practice require systematic re-evaluation. Universities have become implicated in local growth coalitions, not only as estate managers, but also as strategic actors, employers or providers of evidence to inform policy. At the same time, the role of research has been the subject of much debate, in terms of the need to demonstrate user relevance, impact and value-added according to a range of economic, social, cultural and environmental objectives. It is no longer only a question of what the city means for the researcher but what research means for the city – and how those concerns are mediated by the university as a site of knowledge production. In this concluding article to the special issue, we examine these concerns via a discussion of how changing socio-economic conditions create pressures on universities to 'build knowledge cities' and how they, in turn, relate to the contexts and cultures in which urban research is produced.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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