The effort to cast the central Piedmont region of North Carolina as the Research Triangle has been promoted since the mid-1950s. It has relied, in particular, on the development of a 7,000-ac science and high-tech research complex—the Research Triangle Park (RTP)—as the region's geographic, economic, and symbolic core. This paper explores cultural and material constructions of place and region that have evolved with, and in some ways driven, this project. Depictions of the RTP site's historical emptiness, in this sense, beckoned for replacement with a more modern economic and cultural geography of science and technology. The purpose of the paper is thus to raise questions about the outcomes of this local and regional transformation by examining the interplay of the idea and reality of RTP as a "production utopia" built around notions of a prosperous modernity with a basis in the work of knowledge production.


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pp. 263-277
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