The emergence of knowledge economy has prompted many cities across the globe to provide special zones for concentrated knowledge and innovative activities. These zones require specific place characteristics to foster, attract and retain talent and investment and inconsequence accelerate their socioeconomic performance. Our understanding on such characteristics of these zones—so-called innovation districts—, however, still remains limited. This paper aims to identify the essential place characteristics of innovation districts. The methodological approach includes mixed methods—qualitative and quantitative—to analyse data from three case studies that are designated as innovation districts in Brisbane, Australia. The results reveal a list of essential place characteristics and specific strengths and weaknesses of the investigated case innovation districts in fostering, attracting and retaining talent and investment. The findings of the study inform policymakers, urban and economic development planners, architects and urban designers in their decisions on various aspects of innovation districts.
- Innovation district
- Knowledge economy
- Knowledge precinct
- Knowledge-based urban development
- Place quality