Constructing Coldstream: Sustainability and the Politics of Local Economic Development


This thesis explores the evolution of the Coldstream Research Campus, a high- tech research park operated by the University of Kentucky. Conceived of in the late 1980s and built in 1992, Coldstream was expected to become the „economic engine‟ of central Kentucky through the commercialization of applied scientific and technological research coming out of the university. Twenty years later, with Coldstream having failed to live up to expectations, the university initiated the process of updating the Coldstream Master Plan to incorporate a decided emphasis on the concept of sustainability. Through a mix of archival research and semi-structured interviews, this thesis argues that the newfound emphasis on sustainability is important insofar as it opens up the possibility for perpetuating the existence of the Coldstream Research Campus as a real estate development, even in spite of its failures in other arenas.

M.A. Thesis, University of Kentucky