- Airports Reconsidered. An Emerging Knowledge-Economy-Based Space    click here to open paper content224 kb
by    Conventz , Sven & Thierstein , Alain | conventz@tum.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Airports are not perceived as a transportation node but as an advantageous business site that supplies a rare competitive advantage: accessibility. With changed locational requirements of the knowledge economy a new urbanizing space is emerging.
Following Castells’ (2000) seminal work on space of flows societies are centered around a variety of flows. Through their capability of concentrating different kinds of flows – from local to global– airports have advanced to key nodes within the networked economy. In recent years airports have rapidly become new urban growth generators, hubs of information and knowledge exchange. At the beginning of the last decade Gueller stated “airports are not just airports anymore”. Indeed, airports have morphed from pure large-scale technical infrastructure facilities into multi-layered real estate sites for commercial, retail and leisure activities and their impacts on rewriting the metropolitan geography have been tremendous. Successively, knowledge-intensive companies have settled their regional, national and sometimes supranational branches in close spatial proximity to primary and secondary airports.

Despite the deep impacts of airports on shaping the hyper dynamic urban landscape little is known about the spatial drivers of this new and hybrid economic entity. It seems to be that changed locational requirements and re-adjusted locational behavior of advanced producer service firms and high-tech companies is one key in understanding the new spatial articulation around airports. The paper reflects first empirical results of an ongoing research project.

The contribution asks the following questions: What do we know about the interplay between a network-infrastructure that is in physical terms very local – such as an airport – and its impacts on high-speed urban change? Which role plays the knowledge generation process of firms and their need for geographical and relational proximity? What role plays the airport within the value chains of knowledge-intensive companies? Finally we ask how does airport-linked real estate sites need to be planned in order to reach certain robustness towards the constantly changing spatial needs of its users?

Airports, accessibility, knowledge economy, value chains
click here to open paper content  Click to open the full paper as pdf document
click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper  Click to send an email to the author(s) of this paper