The 21st century economy is knowledge-intensive, creative and flourishing in larger urban centres. Less is known about how smaller urban centres are faring in this new economy. This research aims to fill that gap by exploring whether mid-sized cities, in a designated growth area in Ontario, Canada, can leverage the knowledge economy and foster local economic development to help revitalize their ailing downtowns. Through a case study approach, this research looks at the role that coworking, or shared workspaces, can play in the local economy of mid-sized cities in Ontario. Recognizing the role that community-based actors play in urban affairs, this paper uses a local economic development framework to explore the role of coworking spaces in the urban economic fabric of mid-sized city downtowns. Survey responses and interviews, coupled with insights from global surveys on coworking and a literature review, begin to tell the story of how economic change is playing out in mid-sized cities, illustrating the importance of an innovative, collaborative and inclusive approaches to city building and local economic development.
Environment and Planning A – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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