Business spaces between entrepreneurs and opportunities. The impact of the local built environment and zoning regulations on businesses in Dutch cities
P. Beckers & R. Kloosterman
Urban residential neighbourhoods, including migrant neighbourhoods, have
become important incubation zones for small-scale businesses in recent
years, and policy makers and academics alike are wondering which local
factors affect this development.
In this paper we analyse to what extent migrant neighbourhood
characteristics related to the built environment and the local
regulations matter in determining the possibilities for small
businesses. We contrast two types of neighbourhoods in the Netherlands,
namely pre-WWII neighbourhoods with relatively little functional
separation between residential and commercial purposes, and post-WWII
predominantly mono-functional residential neighbourhoods. We combine
quantitative and qualitative methodology using available firm data from
trade registers of the Dutch regional chambers of commerce, reviewing
neighbourhood zoning regulations, and conducting group and individual
interviews with neighbourhood experts and entrepreneurs.
We find that the built environment of migrant neighbourhoods and its
zoning do indeed appear to play a significant role in shaping the local
business prospects of firms.
Keywords: Small-firm development, business success, local built
environment, zoning regulations, neighbourhood effects, urban
JEL codes: R23, R28, J15