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The project “Knowledge Cities in the Atlantic Arch - Know-cities” is the result of a long reflection process about agreed strategies and cooperation processes in the new world scenery of the knowledge economy. The aim  is to carry out an innovative methodology for facilitating the access and transition to the knowledge economy, as a mean to easy up the transnational cooperation in common matters all linked to the sustainable urban development as an attractive and urban marketing factor for the middle sized Atlantic cities.

 In this moment, the knowledge production and control are key elements for being competitive, and in the case of the middle sized cities, where there is not a critic mass to impulse the diversity and complexity grade of the required functions for adapting themselves to the worldwide innovations, it is necessary:

 1) To strength the economy, putting in value certain activities on respect to the big cities, 2) a policy assigned to maintain everything representing their major assets, the quality of life for their residential function, improving their accessibility, services and equipments, as well as their assets linked to the natural patrimony and 3) to increase the knowledge of their potentiality and complementation with other cities for the organization of economies at a higher local and transnational level.

 The strategy to achieve this aim is planned through the development, the experimentation and the validation of quality models and managing methodologies of the knowledge, all applied to the local and transnational fields to improve the competitiveness of the middle sized cities which excellence plans are based in the urban sustainable development. The structure of the project is based on 5 working areas:

 1) Those in connection with the concept of “knowledge cities” based in processes and quality certificates. This working group will be coordinated by San Sebastian with the objective of defining the basic pillars of a knowledge city, as well as the key or strategic areas on which the study of the State of Art will be produced and to activate the urban coaching-mentoring methodology.

2) Those referred to the diagnosis of the cities about the “State of Art” and a comparative study in which the successful experiences of the knowledge cities will be identified

3) Those referred to the activation of the Coaching-Mentoring program, which will consist on advising the cities on the basis of the obtained diagnosis in each analyzed strategic area.

4) Those referred to the development of a model of a sustainable knowledge city, conceived as final product which will be the common actuation frame for all the cities and which will consist on the creation of a model of a sustainable knowledge city to serve as a guide for those trying to achieve the design and implementation of a knowledge managing process and the quality certificate based in the application of the knowledge to their different areas.

5) Those referred to the creation and development of a communication platform which will consist on a harmonized data base, which will allow them to evaluate the situations of the different cities and their complementation. The objective is to obtain a detailed knowledge of the urban situations, from the ascertainment of the differences and coincidences and the comparison of their evolution in different moments.

 The Lead Partner is Fomento San Sebastian S.A., which will act as a motivator of a partnership composed by Fomento de San Sebastián S.A., Dos Hermanas Council, Avilés Council, Gijón Council, SevillaGlobal Urban Development Agency (España); Vannes Innovation Promotion Expansión, Audelor (Economic Development and Urban Planning Agency for the Pays de Lorient), Tecnopole Brest Iroise; Brest métropole Oceane- urban council (Francia); Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra (Portugal); Cardiff Council (UK) and Donegal (Eire).

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