Emerging intra-urban geographies of the cognitive-cultural economy: Evidence from residential neighbourhoods in Dutch cities

Emma Folmer*, Robert C. Kloosterman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Most existing research on advanced economic activities focuses on either inner city milieus or suburban industrial parks. We contend, however, that residential neighbourhoods constitute a milieu for economic activities which require the input of high-skilled labour or, to follow Allen Scott, cognitive-cultural activities which are characteristic for contemporary urban economies. Based on a longitudinal data set of company-level data, we show that a significant share of economic activities in urban residential neighbourhoods can indeed be classified as cognitive-cultural and that this share has been growing over the period 1999–2008. We present an analysis of the spatiality of the embeddedness of these activities. In particular, we focus on their traded and untraded interdependencies. For this part of the analysis, we use survey data of 370 businesses based in Dutch residential neighbourhoods. Overall, cognitive-cultural activities maintain many untraded interdependencies on a local level, whereas they maintain most traded interdependencies on a supra-local level. They appear to be making frequent use of both local buzz as well as of supralocal ‘pipelines’, and are thus embedded on various spatial scales. Residential neighbourhoods, then, have to be taken more seriously not just as places of consumption but also as milieus of production for more advanced economic activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-818
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1-Apr-2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive-cultural economy
  • function mix
  • home-based business
  • residential neighbourhoods

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