The Knowledge economy is the core of the XXIst century metropolitan thoughts.
Concept appeared for the first time in Fritz Machlup book « The production and distribution of knowledge in the United States » in 1962, it has been considered since the early 90s as the new step in capitalism process. Main fact of that economic change, Growth is now created by knowledge production. The Silicon Valley is an excellent example of Growth coming from the knowledge economy.
In this intense competition between international metropolis, the knowledge economy seems to be a a long-term economic development solution for urban areas to remain attractive and get more foreign investments.
Montreal is no exception to the rule and will pretend to be, through its city-planning program «Montreal 2025», a main operator in national, regional (north american metropolis network) and international economy.
Local authorities want to make Montreal a central metropolis in the knowledge economy. As a consequence, they implemented a project called « Montreal Technopole ».
As Los Angeles and its « cleantech corridor project » (available on will-on-board), Montreal wants, based on its current infrastructures and intellectual strenghts, to improve its attractiveness.
This Technopole project structures itself around the three main universities of Montreal : Mcgill, Montreal University and the Concordia University.
Even if Mcgill university’s name is already world known, Montreal and Concordia universities have also talented and renowned lecturers and researchers in health, engineering, computer science and upper civil service. In total, more than 170 000 students of whom 10 % of foreigners live in Montreal.
By the way, more than 200 public and private research centers settled down in Montreal and approximately 200 000 people work in aerospace, aircraft, life science and technologies of information activities.
Reading this city-planning program, I notice that bigger efforts will be done for health projects.
They do appear essential. As an example, existing hospitals will be enlarged, new hospitals will be built and some districts of the metropolis will focus only on health research.
Investments for the « Montreal Technopole » project are estimated at $10 billion.
Montreal seems focusing on the Knowledge economy to generate Growth. However the community shouldn’t forget that industry shaped, for more than a century, Montreal urban setting and made it weathly. As a result, industry is strongly part of the city’s indentity.