What is an innovation district? It can take many shapes and forms, according to the Brookings Institution. Here are some examples:
University City Science Center, Philadelphia
Size: 2.5 million square feet of office and lab space on 17-acre campus
Major tenants: University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University
Economic impact: UCSC has graduated 350 companies, and 93 remain in the greater Philadelphia area. They employ 15,000 people directly and have a $9.4 billion economic impact.
Examples of community engagement: Penn operates a K-8 school in University City, and Drexel is a lead partner in a federal Promise Zone initiative to revive the nearby Mantua neighborhood.
Future investment: A proposed $1 billion expansion that would add up to 4 million square feet of office and lab space, retail, public plazas and apartments.
Cortex Innovation Community, St. Louis
Size: 200 acres of residential neighborhoods and recreational assets surrounded by universities and medical centers
Major tenants: Washington University Medical School, St. Louis University, BJC Healthcare
Economic impact: Construction underway on 1 million square feet of new and rehabbed space totaling $350 million of investment and creating 2,500 technology-related jobs
Examples of community engagement: Home to the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Zoo and St. Louis Art Museum
Future investment: Ambitious plans for $2.1 billion of construction, over 4.5 million square feet of mixed-use development, a new light-rail station and 13,000 tech-related jobs.
South Lake Union, Seattle
Founded: early 2000s
Size: 170 acres of lakefront parks, residential neighborhoods, academic and research buildings, with development spurred by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate.
Major tenants: University of Washington biomedical research campus, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Amazon
Economic impact: Seattle overall is home to 7,600 workers in 55 biotech companies.
Examples of community engagement: Access to parks, markets and other activities.
Future investment: City is pledging to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in utilities and transportation infrastructure, to build a new streetcar line and to create a new waterfront park.
Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass.
Size: 200 acres of a former post-industrial wasteland adjacent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, a subway ride away from Harvard University and the region’s powerhouse medical centers
Major tenants: Cambridge Innovation Center, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Microsoft
Economic impact: Companies originally based at the CIC have raised $1.8 billion in venture capital
Examples of community engagement: MIT has a Public Service Center.
Future investment: MIT in July submitted a $1.2 billion plan to build more housing, offices and research space on parking lots in the crowded business district.