Inderscience Publishers

Improving the knowledge capability of cities: the case of Mainport Rotterdam

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In urban policy-making, knowledge needs to be treated as an important source of economic power and welfare. This paper explores the urban knowledge capability in a conceptual sense and then turns to an empirical exploration by using Mainport Rotterdam in the Netherlands as an example. Planning the future of Rotterdam is subject to various uncertainties, due to questions about the extent to which port facilities for storage and throughput should continue to be expanded and the regional economy needs to move structurally towards innovative economic activities. The Dutch government has recognised the importance of new knowledge in the transport sector, and provides budgets for research in port activities in Rotterdam. This is particularly important because there is no "level playing field" between ports in North-west Europe. Further, in urban planning, a major challenge is to establish institutional structures that preserve open learning and link various policy fields with each other.

Keywords: containerisation, firm birth surplus, Mainport Rotterdam, transport technology and policy, urban knowledge base

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