Locations for Flemish business parks vetted: where and where not?


VLAIO is the focal point for the development of Flemish business parks. But which sites are best suited for this? In search of the answer, GIM integrated and visualised countless data on mobility, energy and the environment, among others. The result: a strong basis for smart policy choices.

Customer: VLAIO
Locations for Flemish business parks vetted: where and where not?

The (re)location of business sites is a thorny issue in Flanders. Some sites offer a sustainable solution, while others are much less suitable. To keep its finger on the pulse, VLAIO - in full Flemish Agency for Innovation & Enterprise - evaluated all existing sites. However, VLAIO did not do this alone. To develop the project, it consulted the specialists at GIM and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO).

Flawless integration with FME software

"First, VITO worked out a theoretical framework," says Kris Dekoninck, GIS Analyst at GIM. "That qualitative search for relevant site assessment criteria resulted in three possible scenarios. Thereby, it is possible that a business park scores well for one scenario and less so for another. We were then responsible for the technical translation. Using FME software - ideal for converting GIS data - we integrated dozens of data sources on mobility, space, energy, environment and other areas into a smart model. This allowed us to quickly categorise all areas for the client."

Automated model gives VLAIO numerous options

One of the biggest advantages of FME software in terrain analysis is its high degree of flexibility. "For example, it is possible to automate geographical data flows to a great extent," Kris clarifies. "In other words, if you enter new data at a later time, it undergoes the same flow and you get to see any evolutions. Moreover, you can easily add other data sources to the process, while maintaining an accurate outcome. So the model is ideally suited for comparative studies."

Visualisation in Qlik: crowning glory

Thanks to the successful implementation of VITO's methodology, the project continued to take shape. However, at least as important was the next step. In it, GIM had to clearly visualise the results of the data analysis. Kris: "Our team developed an intuitive dashboard in Qlik, a platform for end-to-end business intelligence. We also added some content not covered in the scenarios, such as the type of companies per area. This allowed VLAIO to immediately start exploring the sites. Combined with detailed site studies, it therefore has a strong basis for future policy choices."

Although dozens of GIS data streams were involved, the integration and visualisation went smoothly. GIM translated our request into a highly workable analysis tool.
Koen Vermoesen, Head of Department of Spatial Economy at VLAIO's Settlement and Spatial Economy Department.

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