Developing knowledge precincts in regional towns: opportunities and challenges
Bajracharya, Bhishna, Too, Linda, Imukuka, Joan K., & Hearn, Gregory N. (2009) Developing knowledge precincts in regional towns: opportunities and challenges. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Urban Design Conference, 2-4 September 2009, Conrad Jupiters, Gold Coast, Queensland.
While extensive literature exists on knowledge-based urban development (KBUD) focusing on large metropolitan cities, there is a paucity of literature looking into similar developments in small regional towns. The major aim of the paper is to examine the nature and potential for building knowledge precincts in regional towns. Through a review of extant literature on knowledge precincts, five key value elements and principles for development are identified. These principles are then tested and applied to a case study of the small town of Cooroy in Noosa, Australia. The Cooroy Lower Mill Site and its surroundings are the designated location for what may be called a community-based creative knowledge precinct. The opportunities and challenges for setting up a creative knowledge precinct in Cooroy were examined. The study showed that there is a potential to develop Cooroy with the provision of cultural and learning facilities, partnerships with government, business and educational institutions, and networking with other creative and knowledge precincts in the region. However, there are also specific challenges relating to the development of a knowledge precinct within the regional town and these relate to critical mass, competition and governance.
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