Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Scientific basis: enquiry among enterprises of service key branches about location factors, analysis and interpretation

1. Objectives
The second database is the result of an enquiry of enterprises in the case study areas. The objectives were to find out location preferences and requirements and also motives either for a change of locations to the suburbs or for a remaining in the city centre. The locational pattern of different branches of the service sector was analysed. The main objective was a survey of the location expectations of different branches of the service sector. In connection with the knowledge about the decisive reasons for moving to another location the enquiry gave the basis for a conception of measures in order to secure a functional variety in the city centre as well as in the suburbs. On the other hand it was the basis to give details about determining factors of the agglomeration area regarding the competitiveness of city centres and suburban areas.

2. Methodology and scientific achievements
For the realisation of the Working Package the following major steps were conducted:
-The questionnaire was developed in various revisional steps in cooperation with all partners; it was then pre-tested by all partners.
-For the calculation of the number of interviews per branch and per zone an investigation of the total number of enterprises according to branch and location was conducted by all partners.
-The enquiry and the subsequent entry of data into an SPSS-based databank were done in January and February 2003 (1,232 interviews with enterprises in all cities).
-The interviews with experts were done in February and March 2003 in all cities (64 interviews in all cities).
-The databases from all partners were checked for inconsistencies, wrong or missing data entries and were revised by the responsible partners following guidelines from the team in Berlin.
-The statistical analyses and creation of figures etc. was done by the COMET-team in Berlin. Because of their local knowledge the respective partner did the interpretation of their cities. The comparison and the comprising evaluation of all cities as well as the final "Compendium of location factors" was done by the Berlin-team.

The enquiry of the enterprises presents one of the main work packages. To analyse the demands of key branches regarding their choices of location is the main precondition to elaborate planning tools resp. recommendations about the use of planning tools. Knowing and evaluating the moves of enterprises into and within a region is the basis for a sustainable planning process and an effective and purposeful control of the land use within an agglomeration. For City Councils and municipalities and their daily life the most decisive issue of choices of enterprises and their location choices are the finances. For this reason the City Council and the surrounding municipalities usually compete with each other. Not rarely this competition results in earmarking of land for development and therefore extensive land use which is in contrast to sustainable and ecological goals. Knowing the reasons which make enterprises move from one location to another gives the opportunity for better co-operation, mutual planning and thus on the one hand a better basis for negotiations with the enterprises and on the other hand an improved offer of public infrastructure for the enterprises (such as public transport, improved co-operation with the administration etc.).

3. Results
The most striking result regarding the question about "changes of location" is that most of the enterprises that moved within the agglomerations in the last ten years did not change the zone. That means, that sub-urbanisation took place only to some extend. There is almost no dynamic from the inner city to the suburban belt. The dynamic that can be noticed stays within the same zone or aims at the adjacent zone. However, a slight migration from the inner city towards the rest of the core city and to the suburban area can be noticed in all of the case study areas, also a counter migration from the outer parts towards the city centres.

The importance of the individual location factors as well as the different influencing factors is described in the actual compendium of location factors. The ranking of the respective locational factors by each case study shows the differences between the case studies with regard to the relative importance of these factors. The enterprises in the different case studies evaluated the importance of the location factors for the past locational choices in a nearly identical manner. The ten most important location factors in the average of all cities are in the following descending order: local traffic (roads), parking space, proximity to customers, local traffic (bus / train), road connection, real estate and land prices, prestige / image of the location, market entry / potential, qualified labour supply, availability of industrial & office areas.

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Freie Universitat Berlin
Malteserstrs. 74-100
12249 Berlin
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