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Developing futures: a knowledge‐based capital for Manchester

Blanca C. Garcia (2nd year PhD research student at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), in the Victoria University of Manchester, UK ( or

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



This piece of work reports on the initial findings of ongoing research conducted at the Victoria University of Manchester UK, aiming at categorizing the city‐region’s different forms of knowledge capital. Using a global knowledge‐based development (KBD) model as an instrument, information about recent urban regeneration and development experiences in its inner city and beyond have been collected, identified and analyzed. Such research is aiming to establish Manchester’s potential to become a knowledge city. In this aim, the current research paper will report first on a review of the theoretical background behind the concepts of the knowledge city (KC) and KBD, which have been the catalysts to a systematic account of facts and figures of urban regeneration developments within Manchester. The review will be followed by the narrative of KDB observations on the continuous flow of creation and renovation initiatives; with observations on outcomes that can be traced out through Manchester’s cumulated and diversified capital repositories and agents. Such flow is presented through the eyes of the different actors involved (authorities, researchers, and partnership organizations), whose voices are present in the diverse capital landmarks of the city. The global knowledge‐based model used has served as a comprehensive framework for consistent, systematic gathering of primary data on capital systems for a deeply contextualized case study. It has facilitated powerful inter‐relational capabilities for researchers’ insights on the city‐region’s potential knowledge capital. It has also provided the platform for systematic identification of socio‐economic issues beyond level one. In the case of Manchester, the model helped interrelating concerns about social inclusion, access, and skills for sustainable development. They were also re‐positioned to their true dimensions as the KBD model has assisted research with the systematic identification of the (knowledge capital) roles that city‐region actors (k‐agents and k‐repositories) are playing, and the solutions they are bringing to those concerns and beyond. Most of all, the KBD model facilitated multiple insights into how global challenges are finding local solutions. And Manchester’s case is undoubtedly filling a gap in the recent literature of knowledge cities. This contribution, amongst many others, is aiming to trigger further debate through a rainbow of contrasting points of view about what KBD has meant for the city‐region of Manchester. It is also hoped that a renewed interest in capital systems research and its social policy implications in and about the city would be triggered as well.



Garcia, B.C. (2004), "Developing futures: a knowledge‐based capital for Manchester", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 8 No. 5, pp. 47-60.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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