Location dynamics of cluster formation and public sector response

Can planning influence the process?

25 June 2015ContactDouglas Gordon (Helsinki City Planning Department), Thierry Petit

The present report is the contribution of an expert group formed within the METREX(1) network.
This group of 7 members led by IAU île-de-France and the city of Helsinki addressed the issue of clusters regarding planning(2).
The background question was: It is well known, but not always accepted, that planning cannot decide where economic activities will locate. But it is possible to influence its location, especially by planning, the question is how far?
Mainly based on existing works, the report focuses on the actions of public authorities to foster the creation and development of clusters among various European metropolitan regions, especially concerning the planning issues.
It is not a comparative study as the material is too heterogeneous but it gives an insight of the various approaches on this issue.


(1) METREX is the Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas, provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge, expertise and experience on metropolitan affairs, and joint action on issues of common interest. The Network has members from some 50 metropolitan regions and areas and partners in many others. www.eurometrex.org

(2) Since 2009, an expert group led by the IAU-îdf has been formed among the members of Metrex to address specific questions about planning regarding economic development. This group is called Econometrex issued a previous report. The Econometrex group on clusters was formed by the Paris Region and Helsinki the two leaders, with the contributions of 5 other international metropolitan areas: Lombardia Region (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), and Szczecin (Poland). The aim of this group is to bring elements of knowledge and understanding about the tendencies underway concerning the localization of economic activities among the respective metropolitan areas represented. It is also to share practices in terms of analysis or concerning the conception of strategies, planning and policies concerning economic development.

This study is linked to the following theme :