Aims to outline a theoretical and methodological framework for the understanding, design, assessment and benchmarking of knowledge cities (KCs) based on social knowledge capital accounts as common ground for interdisciplinary work between KM and the established field of urban studies and planning. The evolution of urban regions throughout history is analyzed from the perspective of value systems. Under this perspective, the basic configuration of human urban settlements is seen to evolve as the forms of production of social value have done. Alternative concepts of KCs are then discussed, allowing the distinction of three stages of development. Based on this distinction, some critical levels of KC analysis as well as some specific dimensions of urban capital are identified. The requirements for a formal structure of KC capital system are then established as a criterion to identify and value the knowledge accounts of urban regions, specifically in the form of KBD indicators. A taxonomy of capital accounts for KCs – the core part of this work – is introduced and main categories described. Based on these capital accounts, the future of cities is perceived as carrying some critical discontinuities in developmental dynamics. Specifically some breaking points which seem to be implicit and embrionic in any third‐stage KC are discussed. KBD emerges as a disruptive approach that may contribute to overcome the exhaustion of the industrial city and therefore the inertial carry over of its decadence into the future and potentially leapfrog urban regions into the next‐level of communitary value systems.
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