Governing the urban innovation economy : trade-offs between equity and growth
Author(s)Yang, Carolyn Weng.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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The corporate expansion of technology companies offers cities attractive promises of innovation-driven economic growth and job creation. These promises land in the built environment as plans for mixed-use, real estate projects that provide job opportunities and living accommodations close to transportation hubs. This thesis examines two master plans: Cambridge Crossing, a biotechnology innovation destination in Cambridge, and Downtown West, Google's transit village in San José. Each case study begins with a comparison between the city's master plan language and the proposed development's master plan language to examine how real estate and technology companies cater to a city's hopes for economic growth. Findings from these case studies reveal potential trade-offs between equity and growth experienced by surrounding neighborhoods and communities. Corporate and real estate interests give insight into the unprecedented growth of innovation and employment districts, while community organizations bring to light the equity concerns around housing affordability, job access, public space, and access to transportation. Tensions between perspectives supporting and opposing these master plans bring to light what is at stake with plan implementation. Finally, community resistance and advocacy efforts provide an initial blueprint for how collaboration between corporations, city governments, and community-centered coalitions can bring back a right to the city that enables more inclusive economic growth.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, May, 2020Cataloged from the official PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 70-79).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.