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Top questions to ask when planning an innovation district

June 06, 2019

Innovation districts show promise as an economic development tool, but there are a range of questions policymakers, practitioners and planners should consider prior to and while pursuing the strategy, according to new research from RTI International’s Center for Applied Economics and Strategy. In Planning for an Innovation District: Questions for Practitioners to Consider, authors Sara Lawrence, Michael Hogan and Elizabeth Brown describe the innovation district phenomenon, define key-terms and concepts, and highlight empirical evidence that offers reasons for why they might find success as an economic development tool. For example, research shows that networks matter for fostering innovation, and that these types of networks can be more impactful when they are in close proximity. The authors also propose 20 questions across economic, physical and social dimensions that are worthy of attention.