Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Spatial dynamics of service activities in European metropolitan areas: lessons from the comparison of the COMET case studies


This WP aims at elaborating typologies that synthesize information and knowledge brought together in the COMET project. Main research questions are:
- What are the types of spaces existing in metropolitan areas and how do they relate to the types of space desired by enterprises. What is the relationship between the two types of space.
- What are the trends and patterns of spatial economic development of the tertiary sector in urban areas.
- How have cities reacted economically / geographically to the challenges of urban
- What are the issues (problems) addressed in current urban planning concerning tertiarisation.

Methodology and scientific achievements related to Work packages including contribution from partners

Firstly, the WP6 enquiry data was analysed with the help of principal component analyses (PCA), both for all cities taken together and for each city individually. These analyses were then submitted to the respective partners for validation and comment. The result is a report, which develops a potential typology of what has been baptised the "ideological spaces", i.e. the types of spaces service enterprises demand. The report comments on the relationships between "real" economic space and "ideological spaces" of service enterprises and their relevance for urban planning.

Secondly, the focus has been set on the identification of processes of emergence and consolidation of new configuration of centralities in metropolitan areas which are setting up new relationships between the inner city and new centres of service activities in out-of-core or suburban locations. This wave of change intensely challenges the traditional historically asserted concentric shape of urbanisation in European metropolitan areas. Analysis results have been elaborated from a comparison of the dynamics at play in the seven case studies of the project. In order to fulfil recommendations expressed by end- and governmental users during several project's meetings, the analysis has first been built upon the elaboration of synthetic, qualitative-in-nature and easy-to-compare cartographic pictures of the spatial patterns and evolutions of service activities in the seven case studies. The analysis has subsequently built on the comparison of these schematic maps in order to bring out relevant findings on the spatial processes that are currently reshaping European metropolitan areas. Results have been consolidated in a typology of centres at the intra-metropolitan scale. Finally, these findings are synthesised in order to fuel a reflection on how frameworks and practices of urban planning could possibly be adapted.

Socio-economic relevance and policy implication

The analyses provide a background for the policy recommendations and elaboration of planning tools. On the basis of the types extracted from the information, paths and potential actions can be defined for different types of cities and different types of strategies. The results could also help a city's planners to situate both their city and their strategies within a theoretical and comparative context, allowing a broader view of the potential paths their city and its economy might follow.

Informations connexes

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