Industry Archetypes

In the next chapter, we develop the concept of industry Archetypes to hone in more closely on the relationship between specific groups of industries and their urban environment and locational requirements. The term archetype as used here represents a group of industries that, on one hand, faces similar competitive pressures and has similar business characteristics, and on the other hand, demonstrates similar preferences in the choice of urban environment and location. The concept of Archetypes allows us to link more closely changes in the economy to the changing economic landscape. This differs from the concept of clusters as defined by Michael Porter[1] - a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies and institutions - in that it looks for groups of industries with both common economic characteristics and specific intraregional spatial patterns.

This approach is designed specifically to provide a better information base for land use planners to determine what kinds of urban environments they should be planning, for kinds of businesses, and where. It goes beyond the conventional approach that looks at trends on a broader industry-by-industry basis. Simply extrapolating past trends forward - say employment by industry, for example - is risky in the current environment of disruptive technologies. Moreover, using broad industry categories (e.g., 2-digit NAICS codes, as is common) does not necessarily result in information that is useful to land use planning, as these categories often contain sub-industries with very different business characteristics, locational preferences, and land use needs.

We have identified 12 industry Archetypes. They are described in more detail in the next chapter, along with their spatial patterns, urban environments and where possible, key archetype-specific drivers.


[1] Michael Porter (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: The Free Press.