Knowing Communities and the Innovative Capacity of Cities.

22 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 1, 2014


The aim of this paper is to emphasize the role that actors outside firms, especially communities, play in facilitating both the local and the global knowledge dynamics, thus contributing to the innovative and creative capacity of cities. The proposed community-based model complements the buzz-and-pipeline model (Maskell et al. 2006; Bathelt et al. 2004) that claims that clusters of economic activity need both a rich “local buzz” and the creation of “global pipelines” with external actors to increase their innovative capacity. The paper argues that the knowledge transfer between distant similar communities is facilitated by the cognitive proximity that bonds members of knowing communities and that appears more determinant than geographic proximity. This community-based model is empirically illustrated by a three-case study on different knowing communities in Barcelona (of fabbers, coworkers and makers).

Keywords: knowing communities; local buzz; global pipelines; coworking spaces; makerspaces; Fab Labs

Suggested Citation

Capdevila, Ignasi, Knowing Communities and the Innovative Capacity of Cities. (July 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Ignasi Capdevila (Contact Author)

Paris School of Business ( email )

59 Rue Nationale
Paris, 75013


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