The new economy of the inner city

TitleThe new economy of the inner city
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHutton, TA

New industry clusters within the inner city constitute important features of the spatiality of the New Economy, and include computer graphics and imaging, software design, and multimedia industries (as well as technologically “retooled” industries such as architecture and graphic design). This article addresses key developmental factors (emphasising the importance of “space and place”) shaping the location and morphology of these clusters, informed by field work in London, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Singapore, as well as by recent conceptual contributions from Allen Scott, Richard Florida, and Andy Pratt, among others. The analysis demonstrates that these new industry clusters act as significant agents of urban change in the 21st century, with implications for the reassertion of production in the inner city, for the reconfiguration of the urban space-economy, and for the regeneration of local communities. New Economy industries are thus central to the reshaping of the urban core, as well as to larger processes of socioeconomic change within the metropolis as a whole. But the expansion of these dynamic new industrial clusters is also associated with a range of more problematic (as well as broadly favourable) social and environmental impacts, and presents distinctive challenges for local planning and for urban theory.