When metro big-thinker Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution visited Greater Des Moines recently, he suggested Iowa State University move to downtown Des Moines, or at least establish a major research center there. In the alternative, he said, a private laboratory could set up shop downtown.


The idea was that research brings jobs and helps solidify the economy.


The June edition of Florida Trend magazine discusses how the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida have helped revitalize Tampa and Orlando.


UCF President John Hitt checked into Arizona State University's success with this model before his university launched plans for a $210 million, 15-acre downtown Orlando campus as part of a 68-acre Creative Village, the magazine reported. The goal is 13,000 students, in a partnership with Valencia College.


Programs that will help the tech startup field or offer strong internships are most likely to move there from UCF's main campus 13 miles away. "Through another bold collaboration," Hitt said at an announcement, "we explore a vision for UCF in Orlando that could energize downtown and redefine its future."


Arizona State built a 20-acre campus with enrollment of 11,500 in downtown Phoenix, with 11,500 students in an area that had suffered blight.


The University of South Florida plans a medical school in downtown Tampa, the magazine reported. "USF's move illustrates the increased role that universities are playing in their communities as economic engines, and the eagerness of government and private-sector developers to capitalize on the schools' heft," wrote the author of the article, Amy Martinez.


   Read a related article regarding Bruce Katz onBusinessRecord.com.