How does the public engage with innovation districts? Societal impact assessment of Australian innovation districts

Niusha Esmaeilpoorarabi, Tan Yigitcanlar, Md Kamruzzaman, Mirko Guaralda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Innovation districts have started to involve community-based practices to further their impact on the general public at large and on local residents particularly. However, there is little empirical evidence about how people perceive the functions, spaces and opportunities of the innovation districts. This paper attempts to bridge this gap in the literature. Data on engagement with innovation districts (e.g., frequency of visit) were collected through an online survey from 1040 residents across the three largest cities in Australia—i.e., Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The results revealed that: (a) Public perception towards the functions of innovation districts is still limited to professional and educational activities; (b) Locating innovation districts across the inner-city suburbs improves public engagement, as communities living around these districts are more likely to perceive innovation districts as places to work-learn-live; (c) Opportunities provided at the innovation districts only fulfil the expectations of the young and highly educated worker population. The study findings contribute to the efforts in exposing the potential of innovation districts as a new land use type in cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101813
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • innovation district
  • knowledge/innovation
  • economy
  • community engagement
  • urban revitalisation
  • job-housing balance
  • Australian cities

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