How to Attract the Right Economic Activities in a Certain Spatial Environment?

Zaman, Jan and Pennincx, Inge and De Mulder, Sophie (2020) How to Attract the Right Economic Activities in a Certain Spatial Environment? SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 413-422. ISSN 2521-3938

[img] Text (How to Attract the Right Economic Activities in a Certain Spatial Environment?)
CORP2020_169.pdf - Published Version

Download (3MB)
Official URL:


During the past few years, our research has examined and described the spatial patterns and organisation of economic activities. In order to link these findings to policy, we introduced the concepts of demand and supply segments, and applied them on the scale of an area or a certain spatial environment. Considering the business needs of companies on a certain location, we identified 16 demand parameters of companies, that are spatially relevant on the scale of an area: the size of good flows, the alternative freight transport, the nearness to the market,... Literature, interviews and observations offer supporting evidence for the parameters. We linked them to 24 other parameters that reflect the characteristics of the area where a company is located. These include amongst others mobility, level of foot fall, the presence of green infrastructure, other companies (or mix of companies), density, parking possibilities,... The combination of this information with our typology of economic area’s (Giaretta, Pennincx, De Mulder, Zaman, 2019) resulted into 24 main segments, that show the relation between demand of companies and supply of spatial characteristics on the scale of an area. The segments are ideally grouped according to the characteristics, and in this sense they differ from typology of economic areas, that is based on the observed location preferences of companies. This way of grouping into segments generates new questions, that enable us to spatially differentiate economic environments, and to make decisions regarding the location of economic activities. We aim at getting concrete answers to three main questions: (1) Is my company located in the right place? Does this area spatially deliver what my company needs? (2) Does the area deliver the right services, that the companies in this area need? (3) If we want to transform an area, which area characteristics do we need to change in order to attract the wanted companies? We subdivide these three main questions into sub questions. The first question considers the demand side and uses the micro-economic considerations, made by a company, in order to choice a certain segment. Several questions succeed each other and deal with the demand of companies regarding the effects of agglomeration, economic and environmental spatial use, freight transport, price per square meter,... The second question can lead to the segment that is the closest to the actual situation, based on the typology of economic areas. Indeed, there is usually a gap between the actual situation and the best fitting segment. Using the typology and the segments on an actual situation uncovers information about visibility, land price value, good flows, land use plan. The third and last question deals with areas that are in a process of transformation. After finding out the desirable segment, it is possible to evaluate which companies belong to this segment, which need to adapt or to disappear. In addition, the transition in terms of services that the area delivers (which is implied when transforming from one segment to another), can be determined.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: upgrading areas, future of mixed use areas, urban economy, economic space, segmentation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2021 17:00
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2021 17:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item