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Principles for Successful Airport Cities - Global Lessons for Gardermoen 

Mia Meyer Walle-Hansen​
4. april 2022

Airport City-konseptet er hovedinspirasjonen for vår forskning og våre ambisjoner om å transformere Gardermoen til et økonomisk og kommersielt knutepunkt sentrert rundt Oslo Lufthavn. Ivrige etter å lære mer om de viktigste suksessfaktorene for Airport Cities, henvendte vi oss til Dr. Tim Moonen, medgründer og direktør for Business of Cities. Dr. Moonen og teamet hans publiserte nylig en artikkel som undersøker premissene for Airport City-utvikling i en verden i rask endring, preget og utfordret av Covid-pandemien og klimaendringene. I dette intervjuet deler Dr. Moonen de viktigste funnene og deres anvendelse på fremtidig næringsutvikling i Gardermoen og den bredere regionen.
Intervjuet er på engelsk
Mia: Dr Moonen, you have recently handed over a very interesting paper covering key success factors for successful business development around airports. Can you outline in short what the paper is about?
Dr. Moonen: We are in a context where there are many doubts and challenges being posed about airports - first by the Covid-19 pandemic, and more recently by the geopolitical and energy crisis.
Yet the underlying trends tell us clearly that airports are likely going to become even more important by the end of the 21st century than they were already at the start. More of the world’s new and fastest growing industries rely on speed and inter-connection. Supply chains, tacit knowledge, scarce information, and specialist talent are disaggregated for very sound reasons. Airports are the essential mechanisms to connect them. They also allow the regions that host these industries to stay relevant and competitive.
Because of this big picture, many places around the world have recognised that there is an opportunity to create an ‘airport city’ – a high quality district around an airport with the physical and social environment to evolve into a key engine of the regional economy. These places are becoming an important phenomenon of our time. Many local governments and businesses have been thinking very carefully about how to turn this potential into a reality. Many lessons have been learned, some the hard way, about what it takes to succeed. This paper tries to capture those lessons for those who lead, plan and invest in airport cities, so that they can move forward with their ‘eyes open’.
Mia: Your paper draws on desk research and interviews with stakeholders from other international airport cities. Did any of them stand out as particularly interesting and relevant to the Gardermoen case? Why?
Dr. Moonen: Each airport city has its own story. For now, I will highlight two. Next to Orlando Airport and on the fringes of the region, Lake Nona is a great example of a development partnership thinking big. It has quickly established itself as the highest quality and most technologically advanced Airport City in North America. Even though it is at the edge of the continent, it has become a HQ for corporates and institutions who need a seamless location – air, digital and rail - from where to conduct training, trial innovations and serve customers.
Meanwhile on the far outskirts of Sydney, Bradfield Airport is an example where state and local government have come together to agree that an airport can become a major new urban centre for the whole region. This is a deprived inland area of the region where the need for more and better middle-income jobs is urgent. So over 5 years they built a commitment with key landowners and developers to create real ‘city’ amenities, combining strong active transport links to nearby lower-income districts with high-capacity rail transport, and relocating advanced research centres to build some real scale to the knowledge economy.
Cargo Airplane

From the report, Lake Nona Airport, Orlando USA.

Last ned: Principles for successful Airport Cities

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