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Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030027

Assessing Discrepancies between Official Economic Statistics and Land Use through a Field Inventory System

1
KU LEUVEN, Spatial Applications Division Leuven, Geography and Tourism Division, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
2
KU LEUVEN, Geography and Tourism Division, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
3
Environment Department Flanders, Koning AlbertII-laan 20, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
4
Department Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Koning AlbertII-laan 35b12, 1030 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Cities, Diminishing Space)
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Abstract

To limit additional (net) land take for economic activities, the reality of space use needs to be properly understood. This was assessed by comparing the spatial patterns obtained from a field inventory with those from existing data for five case areas in Flanders (Belgium). Each case area is a transect from a high-density urban area to a suburban neighborhood or even a semi-rural zone. The statistics on these areas, based on official data, mostly derived from tax returns, social security contributions, and on commercial retail data, were checked with field observations. The location of economic activities and the patterns of space use vary in different settlement environments, resulting in the identification of typical characteristics for eight location environment types. While in, for example, core shopping centers a strong convergence can be noticed between existing statistics and the field inventory (71% of companies and 93% of parcels are detected on the field), in residential areas (21% of companies and 17% of parcels are detected on the field) the convergence is very limited. In other words, in some environments, (the combination of) data and statistics give a good understanding of the space use while, in other environments, gaps with realities in the field are obvious. Therefore, a field inventory system can enrich the picture and present another reality to complement both existing statistics and other land-use data methods such as remote sensing and web data extraction. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban expansion; land use; land take; urban sprawl; spatial economics; inventory; locational determinants; government; urban policy; location environments urban expansion; land use; land take; urban sprawl; spatial economics; inventory; locational determinants; government; urban policy; location environments
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Gruijthuijsen, W.; Steenberghen, T.; Vanneste, D.; Zaman, J.; Pennincx, I.; De Mulder, S.; Vermoesen, K.; Horemans, E. Assessing Discrepancies between Official Economic Statistics and Land Use through a Field Inventory System. Infrastructures 2018, 3, 27.

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