Myths, Visions and Realities
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 3: The Sustainability of Knowledge-related Policies in Technology-based Cities in the Netherlands
3. The sustainability of knowledgerelated policies in technology-based cities in the Netherlands Ana María Fernández-Maldonado and Arie Romein INTRODUCTION In the discussion on knowledge-based urban development at local level it is widely accepted that a strong knowledge base leads to successful local development. The OECD, for example, has developed a programme on the role of higher education institutes in regional and city development, thereby reviewing 14 regions across 12 countries (OECD, 2007). However, if we interpret urban development as sustainable development, success – even in the case of cities with a strong knowledge base – is not self-evident. The present study addresses the following research question: how and to what extent do knowledge-based urban development strategies lead to economically and socially sustainable development? We will approach this question by studying two Dutch cities with explicit knowledge-based development strategies: Delft and Eindhoven, home of the two largest technical universities in the Netherlands. In a wider perspective, the recognition of the crucial role of new knowledge in the present economy has resulted in new economic strategies at national and supranational levels. An important example is the Lisbon Agreement to make the European economy ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy of the world’ in 2010 (Lisbon Council, 2008). After some years, the initially primarily economic strategies connected with this agreement started moving towards broader, sustainability-related scopes. In 2005, after a mid-term review revealed little progress towards the original objectives, the European Commission relaunched the Lisbon Strategy, to create not only more, but...
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