Dynamic neighbourhoods in dynamic urban economies. A comparative research into the extent, significance, and mobility patterns of economic activities in residential neighbourhoods in Dutch cities
Research period: September 1, 2009 – December 31 2012
This research programme aims at gaining insight into the extent, the significance, and the underlying dynamics of economic activities in urban residential neighbourhoods. The main theoretical point of departure is agglomeration economies which help to explain why economic activities are located in urban environments. In addition, we will use network theories to analyse the linkages between firms/entrepreneurs in urban neighbourthoods.
Problem Statement and Research Questions
We want to invertsigate the extent, significance, and mobility patterns of economic activities in residential neighbourhoods in Dutch cities. From this follows three main questions:
Research Design and Methodology
To address these questions, we have opted for a research design, which will allow both diachronic and synchronic comparisons of different matched pairs in five cities: Amsterdam, Dordrecht, Leiden, Utrecht, and Zoetermeer. In this set-up, we have selected three neighbourhoods - poor, median, and well-to-do – in each of the five cities resulting in basic matrix of five by three cases. We have quantitative data on business on the level of postcode areas for each city/neighbourhood. This enables us to construct time series spanning the period from 1994 to 2007. In addition, we will gather more qualitative data to explore the underlying mechanisms. We will also chart the contours of the local regulatory environment and the changes in local policies towards businesses in the five cities. Thus, we will be able to address the main questions of how many, where, and how and why of businesses in residential neighbourhoods.
The output of this research programme will consist of two PhD theses, articles in peer-reviewed international journals, a Dutch language book aimed at an audience of policymakers. In addition, we will organise (international) conferences to discuss and disseminate the results and implications.
Connection between Research and Practice
The research programme will enable us to explicitly assess which (local) policy interventions (spatial, socio-economic, regulatory or otherwise) may improve the chances for businesses in residential neighbourhoods, for keeping them longer, and for enhancing their beneficial impact on their neighbourhoods. As the broad research questions will be operationalised in close collaboration with our local partners.
:Professor Robert Kloosterman, AMIDSt, Universiteit van Amsterdam