Knowing communities and the innovative capacity of citiesIgnasi CAPDEVILA
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 (Bathelt, Malmberg, & Maskell, 2004; Maskell, Bathelt, & Malmberg, 2006) 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).