Smaller cities can build ‘innovation corridors’: my remarks at Tech2Gether

Innovation hubs are dense collections of knowledge workers developing new methods for old ways. With like-minded members of the creative class can come community, and the retention that comes when we develop networks where we live.

The web has allowed for a more organic, smaller-scale kind of growth that is developing faster vibrancy in urban ways, but it doesn’t only have to happen in big cities, like how I’ve described in my home Philadelphia. Since launching Delaware, I’ve become really excited by how Wilmington could develop an innovation corridor of its own.

At a recent conference called Tech2Gether on that 70,000-person city’s future, I spoke on that very subject. Following an article I wrote, I called those in attendance to see a Delaware pipeline that could result in a celebrated, healthier urban core of Wilmington.


That’s something all mid-size or smaller communities could follow. Cultivate smart people living together, particularly in walkable environments that induce serendipity.

To do that, leaders need to connect the resources already at hand, and find what semblance of density a community has. Economic development plans should take into consideration the smaller, nascent communities that might grow into something larger.

Institutions cannot make a natural connection of people, but they can support, protect and endorse them.

Find my slides here.


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