- Pursuing the peripheral path? A path-dependent analysis of the Frankfurt and Munich fairs
- European Planning Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
As a result of increasing competition and internationalization, many Western European cities have invested in exhibition facilities. Surprisingly, many new exhibition centres emerge in the urban periphery. An assessment of the 34 largest exhibition centres in Western Europe shows that only 16 are still centrally located while 18 now have a peripheral location. This is a drastic break from the traditional location of these centres in inner city cores. Behind this observation of spatial change is a complex set of dilemmas about investments in current or new locations. A fresh analytical model (based on assumptions of path dependency) is constructed and employed to analyse time and place specific determinants and opportunities. Two contrasting cases are selected in comparable German cities. Frankfurt decided to renew its facilities in the centre of the city, whereas Munich opened a relocated exhibition centre in 1998. Based on these case studies, the paper concludes that there is no autonomous force pulling exhibition centres towards the periphery, but it is rather a misfit between the central location and new physical, functional, spatial, and institutional demands that causes a facility to move.
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