Do eco-districts support the regional growth of cleantech firms?
Eco-districts have proven to be an attractive model for cities that are seeking ways to enhance their sustainability, while accommodating growth. When done well, these developments have proven highly efficient in terms of operational resource consumption. They often promoted by civic and business leaders for their economic benefits as well. But does that hold up? Mitchell Reardon and Nordregio’s Ryan Weber conducted a study of Stockholm’s two contemporary eco-districts to find out.
Access the full article via Cities journal. The abstract is below:
In cities around the world, achieving greater environmental sustainability is increasingly accompanied by economic motivations. This is illustrated in Stockholm, Sweden, Europe’s first Green Capital (2010), where an important aspect of the city’s contemporary environmental success has been the development and promotion of flagship eco-district projects. Packaging the environmental sustainability and marketability of these development projects has been part of a concerted strategy in Stockholm, one shared by numerous cities around the world. But to what extent can eco-districts contribute to economic growth? Despite implicit policy motivation, a concise approach to connecting and measuring these issues has yet to be established. Based on an examination of two eco-district developments, this paper combines a qualitative commentary consisting of company-specific interviews with and analysis of productivity of regional cleantech firms in an effort to verify the connection between Stockholm’s eco-districts and the growth of its cleantech sector. Through this mixed methods approach, promising opportunities to assess the economic impact that eco-districts can have on local eco-innovation sectors have emerged. This type of information can be used to support wider public initiatives in eco-district projects.