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DEVELOPING A DESIGN CONCEPT FOR THE DANUBE BUSINESS PARK-SIL

 
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МнениеПуснато на: Нед Яну 06, 2008 9:24 am    Заглавие: DEVELOPING A DESIGN CONCEPT FOR THE DANUBE BUSINESS PARK-SIL Отговорете с цитат

DEVELOPING A DESIGN CONCEPT FOR THE DANUBE BUSINESS PARK-SILISTRA AND A STRATEGY FOR ITS MARKETING

DEVELOPING A DESIGN CONCEPT FOR THE DANUBE BUSINESS PARK-SILISTRA AND A STRATEGY FOR ITS MARKETING

I. Summary

In 2002, the twinned communities of Kettering, Ohio and Silistra, Bulgaria as a result of the impact of the Economic Development and Danube Park Redevelopment projects, decided to focus their efforts towards business retention, expansion and attraction through developing the eastern portion of the Danube River bank park into a Business Park . The Plan was to utilize American expertise and good practice in that area. In addition the development of such an industrial area, providing sites equipped with modern infrastructure, communication and transportation links can be a successful approach to business recruitment in Silistra.

The end results of these combined efforts include: A plan for Local Economic Development, a design concept for the Danube Business park and a strategy for its marketing . Thanks to the good partnership and networking between the experts involved, the implementation of the second project started before the opening of the Fourth Phase of the Technical Twinning Program and was funded by the Eco-links, Washington Program.

II. Problem Statement

During the last few years it has become clear that in a market economy local authorities are able to enhance local economic development and encourage business communities to take part in the decision making process. To be effective and proactive , municipalities need a multi-component plan for local economic development to support local business and attract investment locally and from abroad. By the end of the previous phase the two teams when meeting local businesses and discussing the restrictions to their potential growth, sensed the lack of available sites equipped with modern surface and underground infrastructure. Another issue that was clearly brought forward was the necessity for a proactive marketing policy on a local level to attract business attention. Being convinced in this, the Municipality of Silistra and the City of Kettering , Ohio, focused their partnership and joint work around the design concept for developing the Danube Business Park and developing a strategy for its marketing.

III. Project Description

The project included the following steps:

1. Design concept plan of the Business Park :

Inventory & map phase

Business community survey and involvement phase

Refinement Process to production of Master Plan

2. Developing and implementation of strategy for marketing

After the initial presentations and discussions, the City Council voted in favor of the project proposal

for developing a design concept of the Business Park . This park is envisioned to be located in the

eastern portion of the city park, neighboring the Romanian border to the east, the transport river port to the west and a residential area to the south.

The twin cities defined teams of experts to be involved, and after intense electronic communication, a project proposal was accomplished for developing a draft design of the area in compliance with environmental and other land use issues. This document was submitted under the Eco-links Program, financed by the USAID. Due to the Eco-links funding, Jeff Hoagland-Economic Development expert, Joe Roller- Landscape architect and Al Fullenkamp- City Planning engineer implemented a study visit to Silistra with the goal of:

1. Preliminary study of the current status of the area to be developed including: land use, infrastructure, communications, roads and environmental requirements.

2. Drafting of the design concept.

3. Meeting local businesses and identifying members of a steering committee to be established to secure transparency and public input.

The Design Concept was worked out via e-mail during the summer months and was presented to the new City Council and publicly discussed in November 2003 . During the next stage of the project implementation the team focused on the development of a marketing strategy for attracting investors interest .

First, statistical data on local SMEs was collected as well as data analysis to define local SMEs

branches and determine target business-prospects and their specific requirements.

Next, the joint team organized a presentation of the American s experience and practice in developing, marketing and sites sales of industrial and business parks. The design concept of the Danube Business Park was then presented to the newly elected City Council. Then a marketing strategy for business attraction and definition of the target group of businesses were discussed and determined. During the January visit of the American experts, the lay-out and text of the set of marketing materials were discussed as well as reliable channels for information distribution (brochure and web page). Having accomplished the set of marketing materials, the team was due to actively implement the marketing tools. The paper brochure was distributed in Bulgaria as well as in Hannover during the April Trade Show. Three presentations on a national level were performed and personal letters to businesses in Bulgaria were posted with the goal of establishing direct contacts and visits.

IV. Implementation Timeline

The implementation of the project was done in the following steps:

Step 1 January 2003- April 2003. Inventory of the site, defining target businesses and developing a project proposal under the Eco-links program. Together with Kettering experts and their valuable experience, the Silistra team started the inventory procedure and organized the first discussion of the project with local businesses. Information on all buildings, paved areas, streets, shore line, topography, vacant land, significant vegetation and utilities were collected, analyzed and digitally mapped.

Step 2 May 2003 October 2003 . From these initial meetings, the Silistra Team developed a Wish List of uses and design goals. Concepts were then defined based on the Wish List and the findings of the inventories and surveys in connection with environmental goals. Test designs and design standards were presented to local businesses and thoroughly discussed, producing a final draft of the site layout. After Kettering s visit to Silistra, the design standards and identification of necessary site construction activities were prepared via e-mail.

Step 3- November 2003 - January 2004. The final design concept was presented to the newly elected City Council. Large visuals were also produced. During the January meeting of the joint team, a marketing strategy and tools were defined, cost estimates were sorted out as well as a Business Park development schedule.

Step 4- February 2004 May 2004 The marketing strategy was implemented which included:

developing and publishing a dual-language marketing brochure, accompanied by an interactive presentation on a CD

large-size visuals of the techno-aqua park area and the design concept, a dual-language marketing web-page for the techno-aqua park as a part of the Community Profile web-site under the Technical Twinning Program.

marketing materials were presented during three national conferences and the brochure was sent to 100 people in Bulgaria and Romania with the help of the Association for cross border cooperation and development Silistra.

V. Solutions overview

Short-term results:

1. Prepared development plan for the Danube Business Park - Silistra

2. Created marketing materials

3. Shared experience with municipal employees in international marketing, human resources, management, and business park development

4. The municipal administration has an improved knowledge on how to attract investors

5. An improved image of Silistra Municipality

Long-term results:

1. Planning the future economic development of the region

2. Attracting investment into the region

3. Retain the existing businesses and assist with their growth

4. Improving the economic situation in the region by improving the local business climate and stimulating the creation of new jobs

VI. Benefits

Qualitative Contribution:

1. Improved capacity of the Bulgarian team for developing and implementing marketing approaches in redevelopment of sites

2. Expanding the role of the municipality into local economic development

3. Successful presentation of the municipality to potential investors

4. Consulting other municipalities members of the Association for cross border cooperation and development in preparing a market profile

VII. Conclusion

The overall project goals are to prepare the municipality for future economic growth through: through

encouraging business retention, expansion and attraction

providing available sites with modern utilities for investment projects

ensuring municipal support

As the next phases of the project develop, the following are expected:

improving and strengthening the role of the local government to bring economic prosperity to the region

sharing the most successful innovative practices with neighboring municipalities

sharing knowledge of project results

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