Heike Mayer is professor of economic geography at the University of Bern in Switzerland and an adjunct professor in urban affairs and planing at Virginia Tech in the United States. She is Co-Direcotor of the Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED) at the University of Bern.

She studied at the University of Konstanz (Germany) and received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University (USA).

Her research interests focus on the factors shaping the economic competitiveness of cities and regions.

News, and More ...


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Second tier high-tech regions are taking a different path than their well-known counterparts such as Silicon Valley or Route 128 around Boston. They may lack many prerequisites of growth such as a world-class research university or high levels of venture capital funding. Often, however, they can successfully leverage anchor firms and entrepreneurial spinoffs. My new book explores the evolution of these regions in the United States.


I recently published a paper with the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. The paper shows how three metropolitan areas--Portland (OR), Kansas City, and Boise--became centers of high technology industry without the presence of a major university.The evidence on high-tech development in the three metropolitan areas offers important information for policymakers and practitioners interested in technology-based economic development outside of large, well-established high tech centers.

To download the Brookings report, click here.

Smalltowns_000.jpgPaul Knox and Heike Mayer have published Small Town Sustainability: Economic, Social, and Environmental Innovation with the publisher Birkhäuser in Basel, Switzerland.

The book is also published in German with the title Kleinstädte und Nachhaltigkeit: Konzepte für Wirtschaft, Umwelt und soziales Leben.  The full citation reads as follows: Knox, P. & Mayer, H. (2009). Small Town Sustainability: Economic, Social, and Environmental Innovation. Birkhäuser, Basel, Switzerland.

For a link to the publisher's site, click here.