Industrial Parks for People and Planet: Assessing their contribution to sustainable regional development

Isabel Kreiner

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Abstract

The sustainable development agenda has been implemented with significant regional and national disparities and very slowly to cope with our societal challenges. Urgent change is needed at both institutional and societal levels, improving the alignment from the supra down to the local levels, where societal changes often originate. A business park or an industrial park (IP) plays a key role in delivering products and services and creating socio-economic value locally and regionally, providing a positive impact through their supply chain partners. Critics have expressed concern about how not all regional impacts are included, given the broad scope of the sustainable development concept.
Existing literature on measuring the sustainable regional impact of industrial parks is limited, especially regarding ecological and social aspects. This research aims to fill this gap by developing a framework, the Strategic Sustainability Evaluation Framework (SSEF). For its development and testing, it combined design-based research, case studies, and comparison. The framework examines industrial park performance, contextual conditions, and governance factors toward sustainable regional development.
SSEF was tested in two cases: Guanajuato Puerto Interior (Mexico) and Suzhou Industrial Park (China), both recognized for best practices. Results showed greater progress in sustainability criteria for the Chinese park. The SSEF implementation provided insights into prioritizing sustainability areas and identifying governance-related influences. Additionally, more explanatory information was added related to cultural dimensions for analyzing their impact on the governance scores.
The framework doesn't aim for direct park-to-park comparison but encourages mutual learning. It should be implemented periodically for continuous evaluation and adjustment to adapt to changing contexts.
Further research questions arise, such as the impact of governance strategies on improvement speed, stakeholder participation in decision-making, and refining indicator selection and weighing for balanced sustainability dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Bressers, Hans T.A., Supervisor
  • Franco-Garcia, Laura, Co-Supervisor
Award date29 Jun 2023
Place of PublicationEnschede
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5694-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5695-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Implementation challenges; Sustainability Strategic Evaluation Framework; Governance assessment; sustainable industrial parks; sustainable regional development.

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