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Retail Development - The Competence Network in the Baltic Sea Region (RENET)
Start date: Jun 2, 2005, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Retail development decisions have crucial effects on a balanced supply structure within polycentric settlement structures with strong implications for the social, cultural and environmental balance in cities and regions. Structural change of the sector with increasing spatial concentration (shopping centres, big retail outlets) – often outside integrated areas – is interdependent with city centre development and has negative effects on the functional balance in the polycentric system of BSR cities and regions.Aspects of this transformation are a decreasing number of outlets, limited accessibility of a broad and varied assortment of goods for all social groups, increasing travelling distances with environmental effects (traffic congestion, green field consumption).Thus balanced retail settlement is a precondition to avoid phenomena like declining unattractive inner cities with poorer retail supply due to vacancy of shops, standardised chain stores/formats and less frequented pedestrian zones, downgrading processes, loss of local identification with the city as a market place in a broad sense.Assessing strategies for dealing with location preferences of retail enterprises and counterbalance with regional and local steering of retail development (land use, settlement and planning schemes/concepts) are the main issues in RENET. The main activity is to initiate and test in a dynamic learning network more cross-sector integrated development schemes/processes and strategic alliances to deal with unbalanced economic pressure on land in a sustainable way, involving customers and citizens, community-based organisations in local retail policy arenas, allowing for controlled economic development for small family-owned retailers and for big-scale retail investments.One module is dedicated to Ferry Travel and Retail in Baltic seaport cities where good practice examples are assessed: integrated strategies and new alliances to link tourist activities of ferry passengers with city centre retail development in the port cities have been analysed.In a second module a so-called Retail Compendium has been elaborated where the different systems of regulation and planning of retail development have been analysed: one part for the old Member States (Finland, Germany, Sweden) and one for the three Baltic States.
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  • 59.7%   1 617 562,66
  • 2000 - 2006 Baltic Sea Region
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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