Industrial Districts and the City: Relationships in the Knowledge Age. Evidence from the Italian Case
The spatial implications of fordist and district-based patterns of development have had a profound effect on the debate about the role of the city. While the city is reputed to be the crucial provider of fixed social capital within the fordist model, its role seems more nuanced, if not disputable, when the district model prevails. This disregard for the city is probably due to (a) the fact that the revival of the debate on marshallian industrial districts (IDs) has placed strong emphasis on the agglomeration economies internal to the districts themselves, when not emphasising the burden of urban diseconomies; and (b) the countryside roots of most district pioneers. The quarrel was further fuelled with the advent of ICTs, and the feasibility of displacing productive phases at a global level. The paper argues that this is only the early part of the history. The advent of ICTs has had not only functional consequences but also an important impact on the internal organisation of firms and industry and on economic geography as a whole. It has also made knowledge and innovation the crucial drivers of the competitiveness of firms and local economic systems. The notion of knowledge has profoundly changed too, and the main change consists in the shift that is occurring within the industry itself from the ontological to the hermeneutical approach. According to this view, the main hypothesis is that the city is a crucial socio-spatial device for knowledge generation. The paper investigates this issue on both the theoretical and the empirical level by introducing a new analytical category - "Knowledge-creating services (KCS)". With reference to the Italian case, the outcomes corroborate the above hypothesis and open an original perspective on the relationships between the city and IDs in the knowledge age: the city is shown to be not only the gateway for functionally connecting IDs with the global market but also a true Knowledge-creating District. Within this new situation, a reassessment is needed of the relationships between IDs and the city, due to the misalignment that is likely to occur between competences in "producing" manufactured goods and knowledge.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +39 071 220 7100
Fax: +39 071 220 7102
Web page: http://www.dises.univpm.it/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Straubhaar, Thomas & Suhrcke, Marc & Urban, Dieter M., 2002.
"Divergence - is it geography?,"
HWWA Discussion Papers
181, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
- Michael Storper & Allen J. Scott, 2009. "Rethinking human capital, creativity and urban growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 147-167, March.
- Straubhaar, Thomas & Suhrcke, Marc & Urban, Dieter M., 2002. "Divergence - is it geography?," HWWA Discussion Papers 181, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
- Tiiu Paas & Friso Schlitte, 2006.
"Regional Income Inequality and Convergence Processes in the EU-25,"
ERSA conference papers
ersa06p229, European Regional Science Association.
- Paas, Tiiu & Schlitte, Friso, 2007. "Regional income inequality and convergence processes in the EU-25," HWWI Research Papers 1-11, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
- Andrea Morrison, 2008.
"Gatekeepers of Knowledge within Industrial Districts: Who They Are, How They Interact,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 817-835.
- Andrea Morrison, 2004. "Gatekeepers of knowledge within industrial districts:who they are, how they interact," KITeS Working Papers 163, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2004.
- Ed Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000.
NBER Working Papers
7790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1901, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "Reinventing Boston: 1630--2003," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 119-153, April.
- Rafael Boix & Vittorio Galleto, 2005. "Sistemas Locales de Trabajo y Distritos Industriales Marshallianos en España," Working Papers wpdea0514, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
- Roy Thurik & David Audretsch, 1998. "Knowledge society, entrepreneurship and unemployment, The," Scales Research Reports H199801, EIM Business and Policy Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew G. Resseger, 2010. "The Complementarity Between Cities And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 221-244.
- Audretsch, D.B. & Thurik, A.R., 1998. "The Knowledge Society, Entrepreneurship and Unemployment," Papers 9801/e, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:365. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maurizio Mariotti)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.