Major leisure projects: More opportunities or risks for urban development?

A comparison of Munich and Oberhausen


  • Hans-Joachim Schemel Büro für Umweltforschung, Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung, Altostraße 111, 81249, München





On the basis of a comparison of current conditions in Murich and Oberhausen with regard to both the local economy and the state of urban development, the authors attempt to establish just what are the critical factors which determine whether the decision to locate a major leisure project (an “FGP”) in a particular city harbours more advantages or disadvantages for the city concerned. The authors look critically at the arguments frequently advanced in favour of FGPs, namely the “added leisure value” and “locational benefits”, as well as the gains anticipated for the city's economic strength, for city and regional development, for the city's image and for its competitive position vis-à-vis other cities. Proceeding from an appraisal of the current leisure value of the two cities, they go on to examine and to assess the impact of such a new FGP on the existing range of decentralised retail and leisure amenities. Where the initial assessment of a city's leisure value is high, an FGP is unlikely to be capable of generating additional demand. Thus, the very significant displacement of demand which can be expected to take place following the opening of a new FGP will be accompanied by losses in terms of both leisure value and urbanity. The authors also indicate what factors need to be considered in selecting the right location for an FGP, assuming that such a development is deemed desirable from an urban development perspective.



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How to Cite

Schemel, H.-J. . (2002) “Major leisure projects: More opportunities or risks for urban development? A comparison of Munich and Oberhausen”, Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning. DE, 60(2), pp. 136–145. doi: 10.1007/BF03183869.



Research Article

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