Purpose This paper aims to present an approach to the knowledge-based economy that focuses on the developmental synergies between technology (especially information and communication technologies), culture and place (hub) as expressed in the innovative milieu of the inner city. Design/methodology/approach This paper draws on research in city and urban planning, which emphasizes the importance of quality of a place, location or city and the more intentional emphasis given to development of human and cultural resources, which are conducive to innovation, learning, creativity and change in a knowledge-based economy. Findings Singapore is chosen as a case study of analysis for a knowledge-based economy in transition because of its developmental approach and strategic shift from one focused on technology-intensive sectors to one focused on high knowledge-intensive companies and towards a free-spirited dynamic creative hub in the making. It displays many characteristics typical of a knowledge-based economy in which people, their ideas and capabilities are the key sources of wealth and opportunities. Practical implications The paper observes a missing link in the transition from technology to knowledge to culture hub, which might have implications for Singapore's effort towards establishing itself as a cultural industries metropolis, a renaissance city using culture to re-position its international image as a global city for the arts. Originality/value The originality and value of the paper lie in this analysis, which makes one conclude that, although Singapore's developmental model had created benefits in many ways, it had also negatively constrained its development, particularly in the area of knowledge creation and application to entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.
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