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Economic Geography of Knowledge-Intensive Technology Clusters: Lessons from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

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  • Tommi Inkinen
  • Inka Kaakinen

Abstract

This paper analyzes industrial clusters in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (HMA) in Finland. The HMA is the largest and most powerful concentration of population and economic activity in Finland. The paper analyzes knowledge-intensive industrial clusters and their structures. Clusters are identified according to a statistical analysis that provides a systematic perspective on the knowledge-intensive economic geography of the HMA. There are two main questions: how diverse are the identified clusters in terms of their internal structure; and, are there spatial irregularities identifiable in these structures? Knowledge-intensive clusters are strongly localized close to the infrastructural nodes: their physical localization is closely linked to road- and rail-structures and terminals. In general, clusters become smaller as their distance to the center of Helsinki increases: distance decay is evidently present. Our findings indicate that clusters are plural entities and their diversities do not follow a clearly identifiable pre-determined logic. Knowledge-based industries focusing on immaterial products tend to have closer central proximity than other industries but variations are extensive. This cluster diversity indicates that the HMA has a threshold for manifesting agglomeration gains that generate and extend industrial diversities within key clusters. The most diverse clusters tend to be located in the urban core, whereas the more narrowly focused clusters may be found in relatively peripheral locations.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommi Inkinen & Inka Kaakinen, 2016. "Economic Geography of Knowledge-Intensive Technology Clusters: Lessons from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area," Journal of Urban Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 95-114, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cjutxx:v:23:y:2016:i:1:p:95-114
    DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2015.1090196
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