Cities and the Creative Class

By Richard Florida | Go to book overview

7

The University, Talent, and quality of Place

During the 1980s and 1990s, the university was posed as an underutilized weapon in the battle for industrial competitiveness and regional economic growth. Even higher education stalwarts such as Harvard University's then-president Derek Bok argued that the university had a civic duty to ally itself closely with industry to improve productivity. At university after university, new research centers were designed to attract corporate funding, and technology transfer offices were started to commercialize academic breakthroughs.

But we may well have gone too far. Academics and university officials are becoming increasingly concerned that greater involvement in university research is causing a shift from fundamental science to more applied work. Industry, meanwhile, is growing upset over universities' ever more aggressive attempts to profit from industry-funded research through intellectual property rights. In addition, state and local governments are becoming disillusioned that universities are not sparking the kind of regional growth seen in the classic success stories of Stanford University and Silicon Valley in California and of MIT and the Route 128 beltway around Boston. As John Armstrong, former IBM vice president for science and technology, recently noted, policy-makers have

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Cities and the Creative Class
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Cities and the Creative Class 27
  • Part I - Talent 47
  • 3 - Competing in the Age of Talent 49
  • 4 - The Economic Geography of Talent 87
  • Part II - Tolerance 111
  • 5 - Bohemia and Economic Geography 113
  • 6 - Technology and Tolerance 129
  • Part III - Place 141
  • 7 - The University, Talent, and Quality of Place 143
  • 9 - Open Questions 171
  • Appendix 177
  • Notes 181
  • Index 193
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