Denver Recognized as Knowledge Capital in Brookings Institute’s Latest Report

Brookings Institute_Denver Knowledge Capital

Denver, CO — According to the Brookings Institute’s latest report “Redefining Global Cities”, the world’s largest metropolitan economies can be classified into seven groups that reveal their distinct competitive advantages in the global economy. Denver is recognized in the report as one of 19 cities in the United States and Europe that the report classifies as “Knowledge Capitals: highly productive knowledge creation centers with talented workforces and elite research universities.”

The report, “Redefining global cities: The seven types of global metro economies,” by Brookings  Fellow Joseph Parilla and former Brookings Research Analyst and Associate Fellow Jesus Leal  Trujillo uses a first-of-its-kind database of dozens of indicators to examine global city economic  characteristics, industrial structure, and key competitiveness factors: tradable clusters, innovation, talent, and infrastructure connectivity. Their analysis focuses on the 123 largest metropolitan economies in the world, which collectively account for one-third of global GDP despite containing only 13 percent of global population.

Analysis of these data reveals seven types of global cities:

  1. Global Giants
  2. Asian Anchors
  3. Emerging Gateways
  4. Factory China
  5. Knowledge Capitals
  6. American Middleweights
  7. International Middleweights

each with its own distinctive assets, challenges, and growth trajectories.

Brookings Institute_Denver Knowledge CapitalThe report goes on to describe Knowledge Capitals such as Denver as “Unlike the Global Giants, they are not the primary city-regions in their national or supranational systems and are not necessarily global centers of finance. Rather, they often operate at a smaller scale as regional hubs of business and professional services in their respective countries (e.g., Denver in the American Mountain West).”

The report also mentions that these Knowledge Capitals like Denver “…face ongoing affordability challenges as a result of their success…Firms are experiencing record profits, the benefits of which are concentrating among a relatively small set of investors, executives, and highly skilled workers. Rising incomes have bid up housing prices, squeezing lower- and middle-income households in particularly hot markets. Improperly functioning housing markets can hinder regional economies when they limit labor mobility: the overall potential of the economy diminishes if people are locked in their housing and cannot move to other parts of the region to take a new job in which they would be more productive.”

The report—and its accompanying online interactive—uses the typology to help metro decision makers understand the local assets that drive economic competitiveness, benchmark their performance against peer cities, and identify the global innovations most relevant for local growth and prosperity.

Main Photo credit: nisi

Table 7 extracted from Redefining Global Cities by Jesus Leal Trujillo and Joseph Parilla, Brookings Institute

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