Back to the future of high technology fantasies?: reframing the role of knowledge parks


Benneworth, Paul and Ratinho, Tiago (2011) Back to the future of high technology fantasies?: reframing the role of knowledge parks. In: Science and the City: Comparative perspectives on science and technology parks, urban agglomeration and spatial planning‖ STEPI International Sypmosium, 6-7 October 2011, Seoul, Korea.

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Abstract:The quotation that opens the paper was part of a conversation in which one of the authors was involved immediately before the STEPI conference in Seoul, and it is something of which urban policy-makers claim to pursue. The idea of a high-technology district, the Twente Knowledge Park (Kennispark) has passed from being seen as a project towards an unselfconscious name of an urban district. Just as residents of Enschede no longer connect the ―Wooldrik‖ district with the eponymous textiles dynasty, so there seems to be a suggestion that the Kennispark has left a real mark on the way residents conceive of the functioning of the city. The high-technology space appears to have become a knowledge-based place, suggesting that a functional connection to the rest of the city and the fulfilment of policy-makers desire to change the way that the region of Twente operates through this new district.

The remainder of the paper ultimately serves to explore why it matters whether a new knowledge district, the Kennispark, becomes integrated into the city of Enschede. The Kennispark is a project which emerged at the end of the 20th century as an idea to create a new district – within a city but serving a higher regional function. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts from a range of stakeholders to fully realise this idea. What we seek to do in this paper is to ask the questin of have those attempts been successful? Can we find evidence that this new knowledge district has become more than a science park, but has indeed taken on these wider regional functions. Through an analysis of Chambers of Commerce data as well as a survey of Kennispark companies we are able to provide a suggestive answer to this question.
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Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS)
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