Industrial and Urban Policy Committee
established by the Government of Denmark
Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs appointed in June 1999 the Industrial and Urban
Policy Committee. The committee is expected to explore whether cities and towns can be
developed into attractive environments for future industrial development. Changes in
industry structure have increased the possibilities of integrating industrial development
and other urban functions. According to the terms of reference the committee is to
evaluate existing regulations and consider the needs for policy revisions and new policy
instruments. The composition of the Committee is broad as it includes representatives of
municipal and regional organisations, and six ministries. It further includes six members
personally appointed by the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. Professor Dr. Peter
Maskell, Copenhagen Business School chairs the Committee.
Well-functioning and lively cities and
towns are important frameworks for business development. Conversely, business development
is decisive for the future of Denmarks cities and towns. Industrialism required a
city zoned according to function. This was often appropriate at that time, but it also
created problems both in peoples daily lives and in the environment and often
comprised a barrier to the development and renewal of business. This problem applied to
the urban region as a whole and individual urban districts, many of which ended up in a
vicious circle of negative development.
The current migration of business from
the city centres to the periphery means that more and more of Denmarks businesses
are concentrated in special districts. This trend is related to traditional business
structure and has often been justified by the need to protect the environment and ensure
proximity to road transport. The trend of flight from city centres also applies to retail
trade, with the creation of large shopping centres in the periphery. Urban development in
some cities and towns has strictly zoned urban functions and has often increased the
volume of transport. Another result is numerous old commercial and industrial zones in the
centres of many large cities and towns, such as harbour districts, which are no longer
attractive to new companies.
The present and anticipated development
of society and business places new demands on cities and towns and also creates new
opportunities for assisting in restructuring cities and towns towards sustainability. The
interaction between business, retail trade and the structure of cities should therefore be
strengthened. It must be determined whether the current trends in urban development and
restructuring create a sufficiently favourable climate for business and whether the
existing business and trade activities adequately support various objectives related to
urban policy and urban planning.
One objective of the Danish
governments urban policy is to create cities with an appropriate integration of
dwellings and business, including cultural activities in a broad sense. New principles in
business location will contribute to keeping cities and towns from being gradually
segmented into well-functioning urban districts versus less well-functioning districts
that are subject to ever-increasing social, environmental and physical pressure.
Favourable conditions should therefore be created for promoting employment and retail
trade outlets in all types of urban district.
Such integration provides a more lively
and attractive environment, which can also reduce the social burden on urban districts. In
addition, such mixed-use districts are considered to be more sustainable because both
workplaces and retail trade outlets are located closer to where most people live.
The government believes that the
presence and activities of private business have an inherently positive influence on the
development of an urban district, just as a broader business base can catalyse
improvements in social and cultural life, employment and other factors.
The Committees mandate
To follow up the governments
report on urban policy submitted to the Folketing (parliament), the government has created
an Industrial and Urban Policy Committee. The Committee will reveal existing barriers to
favourable business development in relation to the established objectives on urban policy.
It will also assess the opportunities for appropriate business location in cities and
towns, taking into account the expected trend that increasing numbers of service
businesses will be created. The overall mission of the Committee is to develop proposals
to strengthen sustainable business development in cities.
The Committee will especially focus on
The Committee will survey the
conditions for business that are relevant, especially for business in new and older urban
areas, and that are related to business location and access to infrastructure. In this
context, the Committee will assess whether barriers exist to the sustainable development
of business or to promoting employment.
The Committee will assess
current trends in business development for selected types of company in cities and towns,
including the importance of information technology and environmental effects. Based on
this, the Committee will assess the future character of the types of companies of the
future and their location desires and requirements, including barriers to favourable
business development, their negative environmental effects and the potential for business
to be integrated with other uses of urban land.
The Committee will assess how
urban policy, based on its objectives related to growth, sustainability and coherent urban
development, can contribute to maintaining and improving the climate for trade, business
and investment in cities and towns.
The Committee will consider how
business expansion can contribute to an urban policy that emphasizes sustainable urban
planning with a location policy that reduces the volume of transport and promotes public
The Committee will assess the
potential for business development in the present regional and municipal plans, including
the construction potential in existing urban areas, especially older industrial and
The Committee will highlight
existing business policy instruments that are especially relevant to business in the
context of urban policy.
The Committee will consider the
need for and submit specific proposals for new instruments, legislation and other