Our inspiration for a liveable and sustainable city combines the key elements of mixed use, density, connectivity, high quality public realm, local character and adaptability. Australian Education City has embraced the best Innovation Districts around the world to help us create an exciting economic initiative.
22@Barcelona is the most important project of urban transformation of Barcelona city. The 22@Barcelona project transforms two hundred hectares of industrial land in the Poblenou–an industrial neighbourhood, with a complex urban fabric and detachment from Barcelona.
For more than 100 years, Poblenou has been the main economic driving force of Catalonia and the ultimate industrial neighbourhood of Barcelona. With the 22@Barcelona project the historical social and economic vitality of Poblenou is being resumed by transforming obsolete industrial areas into a space of high urban and environmental quality and with new activities linked to knowledge and innovation.
The 22@Barcelona project has been warmly received by the business community: an estimated 4,500 new companies have moved to the district since 2000, an average of 250 per year and 0.7 per day. Of the 4,500 companies, 47.3% are new start-ups (the remainder have relocated to 22@Barcelona from other locations) and 31% are technological or knowledge-based companies.
The number of people working in Poblenou has risen significantly. 22@Barcelona is home to approximately 56,000 new workers (~50% in university and education sectors), which is forecast to reach 150,000.
Boston Innovation District
In 2010, former Boston Mayor Tom Menino outlined a bold vision for a Boston Innovation District arguing, “There has never been a better time for innovation to occur in urban settings ….”
Reconnected to the city with the “Big Dig” and Bos-ton Harbor Cleanup projects, Boston’s once-isolated Seaport is transforming into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. While lacking a world-class research engine or an established cluster of firms, a powerful regional knowledge base combined with good infrastructure provided a strong foundation for growth. Since designation, more than 200 technology, life science and other companies have moved into the District, adding over 6,000 jobs.
Several unique assets have helped to create what is now a dynamic, collaborative environment. Mass-Challenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, provides shared office space and no-strings-attached grant financing to startup firms from around the globe. District Hall is the world’s first public innovation building, providing civic gathering space for the innovation community. And Factory 63 is an experiment in “innovation” housing, offering both private micro apartments and public areas for working, socializing, and events.
Success has wrought growing concerns about affordability. Private investment is expected to add thousands of housing units over the next few years.
Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park)
Often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley”, Z-Park was officially designated as the “Zhongguancun Science & Technology Zone” in 1999.
Z-Park comprises of seven innovation precincts and participation with China’s two most prestigious universities, Peking University and Tsinghua University, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
High profile multinational companies that were borne in Z-Park include Stone Group, Founder Group, and Lenovo Group. Stone Group was the first successful technology company to be operated by private individuals outside the government of China. Founder Group is a technology company that spun off Peking University. Lenovo Group spun off from Chinese Academy of Sciences with Liu Chuanzhi, a hero of Zhongguancun and current Chairman, eventually taking the helm.
Both Founder Group and Lenovo Group maintain strong connections to their academic backers, who are significant shareholders.
It is estimated that there are over 12,000 high-tech enterprises throughout Zhongguancun’s seven parks, with 489,000 technicians employed.
As China’s Silicon Valley, Z-Park has attracted numerous world-renowned technology companies to establish Chinese headquarters and research centres within it, such as Google, Intel, AMD, Oracle Corporation, Motorola, Sony, and Ericsson. Microsoft’s Chinese research headquarters were established in Z-park in 2011 which also houses Microsoft Research Asia.