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Jessa Dutton ACF Abstract FY11

"Knowledge Based Urban Development: Contrasting the Australian States and the American Midwest"

Midwest Political Science Association 69th Annual Conference

Richard W. Jelier , Jessa L. Dutton

Recent years a concern exists about the US losing its competitive edge in the knowledge economy, after more than a half century of dominance in scientific discovery and innovation. Australia presents a compelling framework for success and best practices in the knowledge economy and knowledge-based urban development (KBUD). The paper explicates the most important components of Australian cities race to the top. Successful knowledge based economic development strategies are attributed to the commingling of policies - sound urban planning, coordinated state and local leadership and an overall commitment to sustainable development. Many Australian states economies have been in rapid growth over the last decade and the capital cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are not only among the most livable in the world, but also attractive cities for foreign investment and poised to lead the knowledge economy revolution. For the majority of U.S. cities to compete in the Race to the Top, state, local and federal leaders must adopt new models and change existing patterns of development. This research makes explicit comparisons between three Australian States and their capital cities and the Midwest both in strategic approaches to knowledge-based economic development. Research methods include direct field research in Australia with dozens of semi-structured interviews of state and local planners, primary source data including all of the major structure plans, sustainability plans, regional plans and knowledge economy indicators.