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The city of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands used to be a city deeply affected by economic and social decline due to processes of deindustrialisation. But since the mids, Eindhoven and its surrounding region have successfully transformed into the technology node of the Netherlands. Nowadays it is even the second engine of the Dutch economy, after the airport in Amsterdam and before the seaport in Rotterdam Eindhoven, To remain of national and international value, the Dutch cabinet wants to strengthen and even expand the Brainport as top technology cluster.
With this appointment the Eindhoven region was marked as economic centre of national importance SRE, a. One of the reasons for the appointment of the Brainport as economic centre is the ambition of the Netherlands to make the shift from a manufacturing economy towards a knowledge economy in order to keep developing itself as a strong economic country.
These topsectors will be the subject of renewed attention in the coming years SRE, b. Especially in the Eindhoven region many institutions, compagnies and campuses are related to these topsectors, which makes it into a very important centre in the knowledge economy of the Netherlands.
The ambition for the Brainport is to position itself among the top. Therefore, the existing industries in the Brainport need to grow and new business will be attracted to the region. But in order to attract these knowledge workers, the Brainport and its surrounding region needs to become more complete, diverse and bigger.
Therefore the Brainport and its surrounding region are facing the challenge how it can stimulate and facilitate its expected growth in order to strengthen and expand its status as top technology centre.
Eindhoven and its region have a very strong knowledge and economic base. This is the result of the presence of many knowledge driven institution clusters. With the aim to be among the top three top technology centres in Europa and top ten top technology centres worldwide, the Brainport wants to attract more knowledge workers Brainport Development, Nowadays compagnies also determine the choice of location of their future office on the supply of the city itself Marlet, Therefore, besides the business climate, the people climate becomes more important to attract knowledge driven compagnies and their knowledge workers.
Confronted with the challenges that cities have in the knowledge economy, Eindhoven has many advantages but also some clear disadvantages. Among the European cities in the knowledge economy, Eindhoven is marked as a Star Nicheplayer player van Winden, This qualification means a clear advantage in terms of knowledge base and economic base, but a certain disadvantage in terms of urban scale.
This project will focus on the people climate of the Brainport region and the integration of it with the business climate in order to achieve its ambition as top technology centre.
Research has been done about the economic growth and spatial growth of cities and regions. The integration of both aspects is of high importance, since the knowledge city and region becomes more dependent on its geographic position and local qualities Marlet, However, the importance of the relation between these two aspects is relatively new and has not been made very clear yet in current policy and design.
In the case of the Brainport, the integration of these two aspects is exactly what is lacking in the Brainport region van Winden, This research and design project positions itself in the gap in existing literature between the business and spatial growth of the knowledge city and region.
However, the process of attracting knowledge workers takes more than only offering employment. In order to attract these knowledge workers, the Eindhoven region has many advantages but also some clear disadvantages.
This qualification means an advantage in terms of knowledge and economic base, but a clear disadvantage in terms of urban scale. Eindhoven has evident problems related to its modest urban scale and its location outside of metropolitan areas.
It has the image of a provincial city, due to its modest size and development from several villages, which is still visible in the current image of the city. Especially in the knowledge economy proximity matters for access to and exchange of ideas. But Eindhoven does not possess the advantage of proximity that agglomerations do have for attracting creative sectors Maldonado, The Netherlands wants to make the shift towards a knowledge economy to strenghten its international competitiveness.
Therefore the Dutch cabinet has marked the region of Amsterdam airport , Rotterdam seaport and Eindhoven brainport as economic growth centres. It wants these centres to become more complete, diverse and bigger in order to keep up with the international competition. They are the engines of the Dutch economy and therefore of national importance SRE, b. In order to be back among the top technology centres, the Brainport wants to double its effort in research and design activities by doubling its current amount of knowledge workers Waterstaat, As will be explained more in the chapter of comparative case studies, these regions are bigger in size and have the advantages of an agglomeration like a high concentration of employment and the proximity of many amenties.
This is a crucial problem for the Brainport since people, and especially the knowledge workers, prefer living in the city with a high variety and amount of aminities Marlet, Rotterdam have an clear advantage compared to Eindhoven in attracting knowledge workers.
Beside the presence of many amenties, another advantage of an agglomeration like the Randstad is the internal and external connections that have been made and improved over time, like train and air connections. Compared to these metropolitan areas, the Eindhoven region with its Brainport is a relatively new economic centre, which is why these connections have not been made yet and explain its isolated position.
This isolated position gives the Brainport region clear disadvantages in terms of mobility. Because even though the surrounding metropolitan areas are well connected with each other, none of them are including the Brainport SRE, b. At national level, the Brainport region is dealing with its location ouside of the economic core of the Netherlands, the Randstad. This is an evident problem since people, especially highly educated people, prefer living in urban areas with a high variety and amount of amenties Marlet, This makes the cities of Utrecht, The Hague and because of their size especially Amsterdam and.
Therefore the Brainport region needs to become an attractive environment where the knowledge workers want to work, live and recreate in.
Knowledge workers seem to prefer living in areas with a high variety and amount of aminities Marlet, Therefore many knowledge workers are attracted to cities and especially cities in or close to an urban agglomeration. But the city of Eindhoven and surrounding region lacks this urban scale prefered by knowledge workers. It does not have the same variety and amount of amenities that metropolitan agglomerations as the Randstad, Ruhr area and the Flemish Diamond have.
This makes the Eindhoven region less complementary and explains the difficulties the region has in attracting knowledge workers and why people prefer to work in Eindhoven, but live in Amsterdam or Rotterdam Marlet, Unfortunately, due to the growing demand for expansion areas for living and working, this landscape is about to lose more of its size and quality.
If all proposed buildings sites will be complete, the region is growing towards a structure which will affect the current character of the landscape deeply. Instead of having with a green landscape with a big variety of urban typologies, it will become a continuous urban chain SRE, b. This will take away one of the few elements for the Eindhoven region to be distinct from its competitors. Due to its scale, density and population, the Eindhoven region is a very different type of region than its competitors.
While the lack of a metropolitan centre with its many amenities is seen as an evident problem, it can also be seen as a chance for the Eindhoven region to be distinct from its competitors.
Very often the structure of medium sized cities in a green landscape is seen as a major quality for the Eindhoven region in the inter national competition SRE, Besides this isolated location, the inwarded character of the knowledge centres is a clear problem as well.
This makes the city centre not be part of their daily urban system and makes the exchange of knowledge stay within these isolated campuses.
Instead of that there should be an open exchange of knowledge with the city as platform. But even though there are policies to integrate the campuses and technology clusters more with the city centre, no actions have been yet undertaken. Besides their isolated location and inwarded character, the Brainport knowledge centres are typical business parks in a non inspiring environment.
Within the city of Eindhoven, the housing market is also dealing with several problems. Even though many investments have been done in attractive housing and work environments and cultural facilities, Eindhoven and its surrounding region still lacks the metropolitan atmosphere that it needs to attract knowledge workers.
The current supply of cultural aminities has cityno international allure and is not enough to make the inner city of Eindhoven into a lively area. This is needed to attract international knowledge workers and students Maldonado, b. Besides cultural amenities, new living and working environments prefered by knowledge workers, high-skilled foreign workers and students are needed as well. But the current housing stock and production is not corresponding with that type and amount of demand Waterstaat, What socio-spatial elements are on what scale level crucial to attract human capital for the Brainport?
What are the existing plans for addressing the current problems and future challenges for the Brainport and its surrounding region? The overall aim of the project is to develop a strategical programmatic and spatial interpretation for the Brainport region for attracting knowledge workers to become a competitive knowledge region. These will be facilitated in line with the requirements in the knowledge economy.
And it has to be fully integrated with the coming challenges for housing production, landscape development and mobility of the city and its region. The first phase of the project will consist of the theoretical framework, which will form the knowledge for many choices further on in the project. A comparative case study will bring up the advantages and disadvantages of the Brainport region compared to its competitors.
Policy documents at national, provicial , municipal and institutional will be analyzed to know more about what the existing plans of different actors for the Brainport region are.
During the research on the theoretical framework, comparative case studies and policy documents, the Brainport region will be analyzed on the aspects which are relevant within that specific section. This will form the analysis of the Brainport region.
In the next phase, the project will get a more spatial translation. This will happen by using the study and design guidelines given by the research on the theoretical framework, comparative case studies and policy documents. A regional strategy will be made, with an expected focus on the BrabantStad network. Variants will be made before working on a final model. Finally, a detailed urban design proposal on one or more project locations will give spatial interpretation.
Expected is an knowledge based urban development KBUD design of a location within the city of Eindhoven. The introduction chapter of this thesis plan has resulted in four themes, which will be used in the theoretical framework. In the scheme below is the total expected theoretical framework shown. This means that at this moment not all of the mentioned works are already read.
Glaeser, E. Marlet, G. Porter, M. In this paragraph different cluster theories will be explained and compared. The theories of Porter, Schumpeter and Lundval are relevant because their theories are related to clusters, knowledge and innovation.
By comparing and criticizing the theories, and meanwhile reflection it on the cluster of the Brainport, a strategy can be developed which will lead towards a more competitive cluster for the Brainport. This can be done for example by making new relations, networks or partnerships with existing or new industries. CLUSTER THEORY OF PORTER To be in front of its competitors, a competitive cluster needs to be: 1 hardly copyable 2 unique 3 superieur to its competitors 4 applicable on multiple situation 5 sustainable Porter distinguishes several types of business clusters based on different kinds of knowledge: High-tech clusters These clusters are high technology-oriented, well adapted to the knowledge economy, and typically have as a core renowned universities and research centers.
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