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Spatial economy

A proper place of establishment for economic activities, balanced opening and the embedding in a broader social fabric are the key factors for a sound and dynamic local and regional economic climate. For Sweco, the importance of the spatial organization of the economic fabric, as well as the knowledge of the spatial economy, is self-evident. Our specific approach is distinctive, however.

We study – together with the key private and public players involved – the social integration and added value of economic development projects. The interweaving of functions and circularity plays a crucial role here. On the basis of e.g. program studies, scenario development and cost-benefit analyses, we support vision and coalition formation around projects such as circular economy, integration of the manufacturing industry and the combination of living and working.

The quest of cities for new forms of production and services and their integration into the urban fabric is complex. We note that the usual linear trajectory of design – implementation – use doesn’t correspond to the rapidly evolving programs of requirements tailored to the economic players. In order to achieve sustainable economic development, we work on different scale levels, with attention for both bottom-up and top-down processes. This requires a broad knowledge of and an integral approach to urban development with attention for spatial design.

Our team sees the role of the urban developer in this type of project shifting from ‘master planner’ to ‘partner in transition’. The end product isn’t a blueprint that proposes what the built-up space will look like, but a transition strategy with concrete strategic actions.

BUUR Part of Sweco is the leading multidisciplinary research, planning and design team within Sweco Belgium. Together we translate the joint ambition ‘Transforming Society Together’ into concrete visions and projects for the spatial transition.

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