SmartPort lunch meeting September 15th

Mainport and Metropolitan Economies in Tandem for Transition

Speaker: Frank van Oort, professor of Urban and Regional Economics (ESE) & Academic Director at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Location: Mandeville Building T03-42
Time: 12.00-13.30

The Dutch mainport regions are facing economic and technological transition challenges. Working from the hypothesis that while economic diversification and growth opportunities of sectors and firms are important for innovation and resilience in regions, successful transitions towards game-changing transitional economies need active governance on the interplay between economic and spatial conditions – especially exploiting crossover potentials between the service- and amenities-based urban economies and the production and distribution based mainport economies. Policy should simultaneously deal with spatial upgrading and downgrading tendencies: on the one hand favourable hub-positions of industries in global value-chains have to be defended and created, and on the other hand locality planning that serves spatial and economic transitions in the regions should be aligned with regional-economic development. Skilled labour market is the most crucial factor facilitating transition-based innovative development endogenously in the region. How firms profit from skill-rich environments and international network positions for their innovative and growth positions, how spatial conditions like infrastructure, housing markets and education co-evolve with mainport and metropolitan development, and how flexible governance arrangements in regional policy arenas help co-creating favourable circumstances for transitional economic development, will be explored in a new project in close cooperation with the multinational firms, knowledge institutes and policymakers in the two regions that face the need for change, and in comparison with best practices in international port-cities elsewhere. In this lecture, skill-opprtunities for Rijnmond's port economy will be explored, and conclusions for transitional development will be drawn.