Since 2009, a group led by the IAU-îdf, the Paris region urban planning agency, has been formed among the members of METREX to address specific questions about planning regarding economic development, this group is called EconoMETREX.
Economy and economic development is a central issue in our advanced European societies and has a pregnant role on urban development (either by the way cities are developed in a strong interaction with the private sector or the physical way they evolve thanks to the economic activities location).
It is well known, but not always accepted, that planning cannot decide where economic activities will locate. But it is possible to influence its location, especially by planning, the question is how far? The aim of this group is to bring elements of knowledge and understanding about the tendencies underway concerning the localisation of economic activities among the respective metropolitan areas represented. It is also to share practices in terms of analysis or concerning the conception of strategies, planning and policies concerning economic development.
The EconoMETREX group has chosen to focus its present work on the actions of public authorities to foster the creation and development of clusters, especially concerning the planning issues. This work is based on two approaches: the exchange of experiences based on existing works on this issue conducted by the various members but which are very heterogeneous, and the result of firms interviews based on a common methodology for Paris and Helsinki. The first part of the study will present the main elements concerning the cluster theory, The second part is formed by the various elements brought by the members involved in the EconoMETREX group presented through case studies. The third part will present the findings of the EconoMETREX group on clusters.