Economic Development Strategy

The economic structure of a city, region or country is continuously changing. Shifting economies at a global scale, increasing competition between regions and technological and labor market developments within economic sectors accelerate these changes and raise new challenges for policy makers.

So, economic renewal and a tailor-made economic development strategy are essential for regions and cities to cope with all these challenges. The key starting point for such a strategy is a profound understanding of the changes ahead in relation to the specific cluster capabilities and qualities of the region or city. A successful local or regional economic development strategy consists of a mix of policies. This mix includes improvement of the economic structure (key sectors and actors), development of attractive business and living environments, building (ecological and energy) sustainability and human capital development (talent and education).

Regional economics impact analysis and economic trends

Understanding the regional economic structure of a region by analyzing trends and development is an important step to define the starting points for an economic development strategy. Economic analyses can be carried out at various levels, starting at a global level all the way to the level of a specific region or city. The aim of an economic analysis is to have a clear understanding of a region’s economic profile and its current strengths and weaknesses. The analysis describes the economic structure that functions as the foundation for further economic development.

Next, six groups of trends can be identified which have an impact in the future on the economic performance of a city or region:

  • Economic structure
  • Technology
  • Demography
  • Life style
  • Politics and society values
  • Environment and ecology

Strategic vision & Action program

In an economic development strategy, it is essential to make choices in a complex environment. Success factors for winning strategic visions with alignment of all stakeholders are the combination of broad experience within these kind of complex processes, practical knowledge of specific economic, technological and talent related topics and the drive to optimize recommended economic actions (by way of business cases and cost benefit analysis). Combining these elements is key to design and implement realistic plans.

Areas of development

BCI is involved in a large number of urban area development projects. These vary from the development of train station areas and the development of zones alongside infrastructure to restructuring of outdated business sites and the (re)development of a city neighborhood (living and working areas).

Our advisors can fulfil different roles in all stages of urban area development: from the idea phase (drafting a master plan with explicit attention to economic feasibility), through a thorough execution strategy (agreements with the takeholders in question to realize the drafted plans) to implementation and actual realization of plans.

Economic development strategy & BCI advice

Economic programs are mainly developed on behalf of regional authorities and municipalities. A distinction can be made between the development of a strategic vision and the development of an action oriented economic development program.

Development of a city and regional strategy includes:

  • Analysis of the economic profile and its current strengths and weaknesses
  • Analysis of relevant trends: for example, how can innovation policies enhance cluster development and how to respond to demographic and labor market shifts?
  • Development of a challenging long-term vision for the next ten to fifteen years that can be characterized as both realistic and ambitious
  • Establishing concrete objectives and milestones

The strategy can be translated into an economic action plan or roadmap looking forward to the next five years. Actions are formulated for each strategic objective focusing for example on:

  • Reinforcing the economic structure and the development of clusters to the next level
  • Offering enough space of the right quality to companies (business sites)
  • Strengthening innovation and technological networks
  • Improving educational opportunities and the labor market
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Organizational structure and financial budgeting for the economic roadmap

Pursuing a successful spatial economic policy calls for regular analysis of what the policy has delivered or could deliver. It is for this reason that BCI is often involved in policy and project evaluations as well.

In our approach we combine in-depth expertise (for example sector and cluster knowledge, real estate, marketing), the development of innovative (real estate) concepts and using analytical tools such as cost benefit analysis and business case development.

Our added value in short:

  • Combination of economic, (technological) cluster, real estate and marketing expertise
  • In-depth market insights
  • Strong network within the national and regional authorities throughout Europe
  • Cost benefit analysis and business case development


Learn more about Economic Development Strategy?

Below we summed up a sample of our clients within this field of activities

  • Chamber of commerce The Hague region – Economic foundation regional development agency 'Haaglanden'
  • Canton of Zurich – Retention strategy for European Headquarters
  • Castilla y León (Spain) – Marketing and international economic development
  • Euregio Maas-Rijn-North – Formulation action program Interreg III
  • European Union – HST Urban Regions: economic effects
  • Flemish Community – Spatial economic positioning of Antwerp
  • Haute-Marne Développement - International marketing strategy and economic development
  • Investment Belfast – Development of medical technology sector
  • ITP Turin - Review international marketing strategy
  • Municipality Aachen – Economic development potentials
  • Municipality of Duisburg – Targeting logistics companies
  • Municipality of Haarlemmermeer/Schiphol – Outlook Haarlemmermeer/Schiphol 2015
  • Municipality of Madrid – Vision on positioning the city
  • Municipality of Venlo – Economic effects Venlo Trade Port
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs – Formulation of programs for 'European Fund Regional Development' (EFRO)
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs – International competitiveness of the Randstad Region
  • Ostrava Region – Economic perspectives new investors