How much space must we reserve for the economy over the next ten years?

How much space must we reserve for the economy over the next ten years?

How will employment and the number of businesses evolve in the years to come and how much space must we provide for them? These are the key questions that the City of Antwerp, the City of Peer and the Province of Limburg put to IDEA.

Can we look ten years into the future?

Drawing up a ten-year forecast is complicated in a rapidly-changing society like ours. Nonetheless, IDEA has succeeded in drawing up reliable forecasts for the Flemish economy or for cities like Ghent in recent years. We combine the economic forecasts of the Federal Planning Bureau with specific employment figures for the region in question in these space estimates. The economy and the relationship between the various industries (construction, hospitality, etc.) are always different, wherever you look.

Building in flexibility through ‘economic environments’

Economic growth is firstly a dynamic market process, which is shaped by companies. This means governments must build in flexibility when defining future zones for business activities. That is why IDEA works with spatial environments for which sectors and the expected dynamics are described, without however drawing up a restrictive list of activities. This creates more space for interwoven and multifunctional environments. Companies have also become more hybrid rather than solely specialising in manufacturing, services or trade.

Using space more sparingly

When planning business sites and business parks, we must also pay attention to space, the environment and people.
Spatial policy ambitions such as interweaving and densification are included in the scenarios in IDEA’s forecasts for Antwerp, Peer and Limburg. Our economy will also have to use space more sparingly in the future.

arrow team members
foto Bart Van Herck
Bart Van Herck
Senior Expert Regional & Urban Development / Managing Director
foto Björn Koopmans
Björn Koopmans
Senior Expert Regional Development & EU Projects