Portland Seattle Brookings Institute

Seattle, Portland and other US cities named “knowledge capitals” by Brookings


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

September 30, 2016 | 2 min read

Two cities at the top left corner of the United States have been named “Knowledge Capitals” by the Brookings Institution. Seattle and Portland were two of 19 cities in the US and Europe named in the global report, “Redefining Global Cities,” authored by Jesus Leal Trujillo and Joseph Parilla.

The report examined 123 of the world’s largest metropolitan economies and broke them down into seven categories: Global Giants, Asian Anchors, Emerging Gateways, Factory China, Knowledge Capitals, American Middleweights and International Middleweights.

The cities were ranked by 16 metrics, including growth, GDP, research universities, educational attainment, internet speed and “tradable clusters.”

The Washington DC think tank used methodology based on 35 factors relating to economies, industries and competitiveness including trade industries, innovation, talent and infrastructure.

Portland and Seattle were two forward-thinking cities on the list, which included cities both larger and smaller. They were joined by tech giant Bay twins San Jose and San Francisco, plus San Diego, Boston, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington DC, Denver, Stockholm, Zurich, Baltimore, and the smallest city on the list, Hartford, Connecticut.

The study defined the cities as “19 mid-sized, highly productive innovation centers in the United States and Europe with talented workforces and elite research universities. These regions are at the world’s innovation frontier, and thus challenged constantly to generate new knowledge and ideas to sustain growth.”

Portland Seattle Brookings Institute

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