Knowledge city and urban economic resilience

Simon Huston, Clive Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the limitations and potential usefulness of a "knowledge city" concept as diversification vehicle for property investors. Design/methodology/approach: The paper first dissects the "knowledge city" concept and then investigates whether it inoculates against economic turbulence as measured by growth and jobs recovery. The paper also looks at the protection offered by middle class population growth. Findings: The idea of the "knowledge city" comes from earlier economic constructs but concentrated at the urban scale. There are two versions - a technical and one enriched with institutional and social dimensions. The limited analysis of selective secondary data suggests that "knowledge city" and strong middle class population growth provide some protection from economic and, presumably, property market instability. Research limitations/implications: Statistical limitations include arbitrary sample frames; lack of data and unclear spatial resolution, short time frames for aggregate analysis. Further research requires, first, a structured grading of knowledge precincts and, second, randomised sampling of individual properties to investigate any links between total risk-adjusted performance is measured over a decade. Practical implications: To mitigate risk, investors should consider re-weighting their portfolios to increase exposure to knowledge cities and second-tier but fast growing cities in emerging countries. Social implications: A knowledge-city cannot be imposed by infrastructure, technology or place configuration alone. It involves multiple precinct configurations and subsidiarity. Institutions and people matter. A broader knowledge-city conceptualisation helps inform planning, management and oversight for regional second-tier cities. Originality/value: Dissecting, noting the limits and drawing out the practical implications of the "knowledge city" concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Property Investment and Finance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Diversification
  • Emerging markets
  • Knowledge city
  • Middle class growth
  • Real estate
  • Risk-adjusted returns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Finance
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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