Blog Post

The Knowledge City

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 25 August 2003



The Knowledge City
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Posted DateMonday 25 August 2003 11:47 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
CategoriesKnowledge Space
PeopleLeif Edvinsson
CountryBarcelona; Liverpool

Some months ago at the Henley Knowledge Management Conference Leif Edvinsson talked about the concept of the Knowledge City - a city purposefully designed to encourage the nurturing of knowledge. Liverpool had recently won a competition in the UK and had been appointed European Capital of Culture 2008 and we even played with the idea of suggesting to Patricia Hewitt (Secretary for State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women) that a competition should be set up to identify the best "knowledge city" in the UK.

More recently, I have been looking to identify the major "knowledge cities" of the world. And as Steve Searle in New Zealand pointed out a starting point is to identify which cities have a University and an International Airport.

But then I though why not search for the term Knowledge City and see if the term is in use.

And wow! Bingo! Barcelona! Just look at this word document I found CULTURE, THE MOTOR OF THE KNOWLEDGE CITY Strategic Plan of the Cultural Sector of Barcelona Its a very interesting 20 page document. Here are just a few of the attributes they list for Barcelona but they form a check-list for any city claiming to be a "knowledge city":

  • A city that has instruments to make knowledge accessible to citizens.
  • A network of public libraries that is compatible with the European standards.
  • Access to the new communication technologies for all citizens.
  • All cultural facilities and services with a central educational strategy.
  • A city that has a newspaper- and book-reading level that is similar to the average European level.
  • A city that has a network of schools connected with artistic instruction throughout its territory.
  • A city that is respectful of the diversity of cultural practices of its citizens.
  • A city that places the streets at the service of culture.
  • A city that simplifies, through the provision of spaces and resources, the cultural activity of the community collectivities and associations.
  • A city with civic centres that are open to diversity and that foster face-to-face relations.
  • A city that makes available to citizens from other territories all the tools required for them to express themselves.
Tremendous food for thought here - but a pity the document has no date or author or any other context to help follow up on it!

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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