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Hub cities and the knowledge economy: Airports. Seaports. Brainports

A Special Session of the 2011 AAG Annual Meeting
p. 166

Notes de la rédaction

AAG Annual Meeting : Association of American Geographers, Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington State, USA, April, 12-16, 2011; website:

The starting point is the expanding importance of the knowledge economy in mature economies. A key question is the role of knowledge in the process of generating value added. But how is knowledge being generated? Empirical evidence sees an interplay between physical/geographical proximity and relational proximity. How then does this translate into certain location specificities or requirements?

This again puts a focus on accessibility and connectivity both in a physical and relational perspective. Again, some evidence sees hub cities benefitting from the process of (re)location of business activities at spaces of highest accessibility.

From a historic perspective, seaports, airports and nowadays certain ‘brainports’ – centers of competence – are best positioned to be the winners in the re-structuring process of space. The session asks for the state of the matter: what do we really know about the interplay between knowledge generation of firms and accessibility/connectivity? To what extent are physical infrastructures like seaports, airports, brainports being re-defined / re-coded against the backdrop of the knowledge economy?

Organizers: Frank Witlox, Ghent University (, Ben Derudder (, Alain Thierstein (, and Sven Conventz (

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