This article is over 8 years old


Brookings Institution: “Innovation Districts” Transforming Urban Economies and Landscapes

Report suggests Texas Medical Center could form core of new Silicon Valley.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

The Brookings Institute’s Julie Wagner

The Brookings Institution is reporting that an increasing number of American cities, including Houston, are spawning Silicon Valley-style “innovation districts” that can create tens of thousands of new jobs.

Brookings defines an innovation district as an area in which research institutions, private businesses, and urban planners collaborate, with the aim of transforming surrounding neighborhoods and spawning new companies.

Julie Wagner is a scholar with Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program. She and her colleagues looked at several such districts across the U.S. and around the world, in a report released this morning.

“Houston really has its eyes set on advancing an innovation district off the considerable economic strengths of the Texas Medical Center. And that’s comprised of forty-three member institutions.”

Wagner says forming such districts can have a dramatic effect on a city, even when economic activity is at a standstill. She notes the economy of Barcelona, Spain was flat-lining when it launched 22@Barcelona in the year 2000. By 2012, the district had generated 7,000 new companies and roughly 85,000 jobs.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

More Information