As a result of the study:
A database has been created with a significant number of innovative initiatives within the metropolitan area, from available information sources.
Four groups of stakeholders involved in the innovation ecosystem of the AMB have been characterized: startups, research entities, big companies and infrastructures. These stakeholders have specific ways to organize themselves within the territory (different spatial patterns).
The urban and connectivity parameters which have the highest relevance in the sprout of these type of initiatives have been identified, such as urban density, land designated to productive uses and proximity to high frequency transport systems.
Five typologies of urban fabric have been defined according to their potential to foster innovation: the business fabric, the post-industrial fabric, the downtown fabric, the border fabric and the non-specialized fabric.
Data for this study has been collected
from different public and private data sources:
According to the data elaborated in this study,
the metropolitan innovation system is composed by 2.244 initiatives
divided in four main groups of stakeholders:
grouped in research centers, research facilities and universities – university campus, mainly in the municipalities of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Sant Cugat del Vallès and Castelldefels.
small, medium and big enterprises which are relevant for different factors (attractiveness, innovation model, etc.) and they are present in most of the municipalities of the AMB, with some exceptions.
consisting in services that local and supramunicipal administration or private institutions offer enterprises (as consulting services or spaces) but also stakeholders which enable the innovation ecosystem acting as companies accelerators and funders; they are distributed in specific locations, as isolated areas, in Barcelona surroundings, where the highest density is located.
Five groups of urban fabric with similar morphological
and connectivity variables have been defined
Business fabric: predominance of offices. It is well connected and has an established economic activity (usually linked to big companies) but not necessarily innovative; innovative companies are emerging as a collateral phenomenon.
Post-industrial fabric: it has a strong industrial character, although it has been converted into offices and new economic activities in the urban centers. It is a flexible fabric and that makes it attractive for startups in terms of occupation of spaces (co-working, mixed use). It has good connectivity, which makes it susceptible to transmute into a business fabric type if the transport improves and the office use is standardized (in this case, there could be a change in production, price and diversity).
Downtown fabric: it is well connected, which usually matches the center of towns. Balanced proportion of housing, shops, offices and industry. Having a strong residential component invalidates land use for other economic activities beyond housing and commerce-related activities. It can be transformed into a post-industrial fabric if the connection to the airport improves, although it would only transform the area closest to the station.
Non-specialized in the economic activity fabric: a primarily low-density residential fabric with no innovation activity. Despite its specialization it could potentially change into a business fabric and generate interesting typologies (as happens in Silicon Valley where isolated houses in residential neighborhoods become startups incubators, but always as a temporary and extraordinary situation).
Border fabric: a fabric with low connection to the airport (public transport) and to the high frequency transport because it is located at the edges of the metropolitan area. Despite its substantial deficiency in connectivity, it can be a fabric with many possibilities for startups thanks to the proportion of uses (in some cases reaches a good proportion of office or industry). It can turn into a post-industrial fabric if the airport connection is improved, but this change only would apply to the immediate area of the station.
A map showing the five typologies
of urban fabric has been created: