Focus Project “New Economic Poles” – New economic poles of the metropolitan economy
The focus project “New economic poles of the metropolitan economy” is analyzing polycentric spatial structures of the metropolitan economy (e.g. knowledge economy, creative industries). It is facing the question why specific activities of metropolitan economies are concentrated in certain spatial locations, which are often to be found outside the traditional urban cores. These places are called “new economic poles” or “new centralities” and can be described as office parks, technology parks or airport cities.
One focus area is the metropolitan region of Frankfurt Rhein/Main, which serves as a case study to analyze concentration processes on different spatial scales. This refers to specific changes in the spatial structure as well as to the (re)development of specific locations.
On a macro-scale the project is analyzing new relations between traditional and new centralities with quantitative-spatial methods. This is focusing on questions like:
- Where exactly are the locations, that can be defined as new economic poles within the metropolitan region?
- Which sort of functional specialization can be observed?
- Do these locations complement each other or are they competitive?
On a micro-scale the project is analyzing specific locations according to their urban design qualities and adequate urban planning instruments and strategies to control their development. The redevelopment and refitting of those places is of special interest in this field. In order to do this a Classification of different typologies of business parks is developed. This part is focusing on questions like:
- How is the urban design quality in new centralities characterized?
- Which instruments, strategies and actions are used for a specific profiling of these locations and how is the retrofitting conducted?
- How are the aspects of public planning and needs of businesses harmonized in the planning process?
These two perspectives are linked via survey of knowledge-intensive firms regarding their hard and soft locational requirements. In particular, the survey focusses on the role of urban design qualities in the firms locational decisions.
The project aims on a significant contribution towards the understanding of the development of polycentric urban patterns in post-industrial metropolitan regions. It specifically aims on the question on how these hubs of international production, finance and knowledge networks are being developed and redeveloped.
The focus project combines the ILS research topics “Locational decisions: cores and networks” and “Urban design and symbolism”. We aim to publish the results in various papers to be submitted to international journals.