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the location of structurally vacant officesThe link between location characteristics and structuraloffice vacancy in Utrec...
iiTitleThe location of structurally vacant officesSubtitleThe link between location characteristics and structuraloffice v...
iiiContentsPreface������������������������������������������������������� ivAbstract��������������������������������������...
ivPrefaceThis thesis is the final product of my graduation project for the departments of Real estate  Housing andUrbanism...
1AbstractIntroductionThis study is dedicated to the problem of structural office vacancy, a problem that seems quantitativ...
2“What location characteristics are generally believed to be related to the causes of office vacancy, and how canthey be m...
3Multi-collinearityThe second step was to investigate the dataset for bivariate correlation. This shows interdependence, t...
4PART II Coping with vacancy“What kind of methods are available in order to regenerate an area with high vacancy?”Interven...
5“What are the problems of the location in the Merwede quarter in Utrecht?”ObstaclesDue to the phased additions to the cit...
6Urban regenerationThe problems described above can be distinguished as loss of economic activity; clearly visible by the ...
7Claiming the public spaceThe strategy aims to give back the public space to the pedestrians and cyclists in several steps...
8PartIIntroduction
Figure 1. Vacant office (Reformatorisch dagblad, 2012)91.	 IntroductionThis chapter gives a broad overview of the thesis s...
QualitativeQuantitativeBuilding LocationMarketFigure 2. Quantitative and qualitative factors101.1	 Problem statementThis r...
111.3	 LocationMany studies on structural office vacancy and conversion possibilities were performed in Amsterdam. Researc...
Figure 3. Research designresearch questiondata analysisliterature studylocation analysisconclusionsliterature studyconclus...
13literature study was done concerning the causes of office vacancy. The gained information was linked back to theconceptu...
141.9	 RelevanceSocietalStructural vacancy is a societal problem because it creates not only property depreciation, but al...
Figure 4. Office building becoming vacant in Papendorp (Architecture-buildings.com, 2012)152.	 ContextThe research is perf...
Figure 5. Overview of the G4 within the NetherlandsAmsterdamUtrechtThe HagueRotterdamairportharbouruniversityRandstadinhab...
GermanyBelgium300 km/h160 km/h140 km/h130 km/h120 km/h 120 km/htrain stationFigure 6. Road network (adapted from Ministeri...
NL Amsterdam Rotterdam The Hague UtrechtPopulation January 1st 2010 * 16,577,612 767,849 590,131 489,375 306,731Jobs * 8,0...
VacanyMunicipality % in 2008 % in 2011Bunnik 4.3 12.3De Bilt 8.4 16.9Houten 2.8 13.6IJsselstein 17.6 18.7Maarssen 24.3 32....
Table 3. Overview office areas in Utrecht (adapted from Gemeente Utrecht, 2011)Figure 11. Office districts types in Utrech...
Figure 12. Vacancy in Kanaleneiland, Papendorp and LageWeideVacancyArea m² LFAin 2010*m² LFAin 2011**Kanaleneiland 62,200 ...
Figure 13. Papendorp and RijnsweerdPapendorpType of area Monofunctional office areaType of location Highway locationAccess...
Lage WeideType of area Spread offices in business districtType of location Highway locationAccessibility- Public transport...
Figure 15. Binnenstad, Oost and OvervechtOvervechtType of area Mixed environment low densityType of location Train station...
Figure 16. Birds eye view Papendorp (Bing, 2012) Figure 17. Birds eye view Stationsgebied (Bing, 2012)Figure 18. Birds eye...
Table 7. Plans new office space in Utrecht (adapted fromGemeente Utrecht, 2011)Certain Probable Uncertain TotalYear m² GFA...
Figure 25. Position Kanaleneiland in Utrecht (adapted from geografiek.nl)A27A2A2A12A12A28A27Leidsche Rijn CentrumLage Weid...
28PartIIcausesofvacancy
Figure 26. Office space with vacancy in the Merwede quarter293.	 Theoretical frameworkTo efficiently provide solutions to ...
Figure 27. Reasons for vacancyQualitativeQuantitativedemandsupplytimem²m²/employeetimequalitytimeABCSpatial fixRelocationQ...
Future supplyCurrent demandCurrent supplyAlternativesFuture matchStep by step planCurrent matchFuture demandFigure 28. DAS...
Figure 29. Schematic view mismatch demand and supplyFigure 30. Conceptual model macro levelDemandSupplycause• m²• m²• buil...
Table 8. Overview researchesResearchTransformatiepoten-tie: meten is wetenGood buildings driveout bad buildingsOut of Offi...
Figure 31. Conceptual model meso levelLocationFunctionalityPrestigePublic spaceFacilitiesAccessibilityEnvironmentBuildingC...
Figure 32. Modality (Goudappel Coffeng  DTZ, 2011)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BunnikHoutenVleutenMaarssenBreukelenBilthovenUtrecht Zui...
verhouding parkeren =verhuurbaar vloeroppervlakaantal parkeerplaatsenFigure 34. Parking measurement ratio363.2.2	 Faciliti...
Figure 35. Types of space (adapted from Gehl, 2006)Urban stroll waysTransport hubsLocal city spaceStaged city spaceCeremon...
trafficwalk stand sitsee talk playscale climatecrimesensoryexperiencessensoryexperiencesGoodAveragePoorprotectionenjoyment...
Figure 37. Liveability in Utrecht (RIGO, 2012)39LiveabilityRIGO developed maps which show the liveability for allliving en...
The location of structurally vacant offices (thesis)
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The location of structurally vacant offices (thesis)

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This research started out in 2011 when the total supply of office space in the Netherlands was 48.2 million m² lettable floor area (LFA). Of these offices, 6.8 million m² LFA was left vacant in Q4 2011, meaning there was 14.1% office vacancy.

Office vacancy occurs due to a mismatch in demand and supply, both quantitative (the market) as qualitative (building and location characteristics). The economic crisis led to a decrease of office jobs, leading to a declined demand for office space. Simultaneously, ‘the new way of working’ ensures that companies can cope with less office space than before. The ageing population in the Netherlands causes the working population to decrease, also bringing down the demand.

Currently there are still new buildings being developed. These buildings usually meet the qualitative demands of office user organizations, causing the lower end of the office market to become vacant. Although there are experts who believe the market will improve, others are more sceptical. They state that there is a structural surplus in the office market, and that vacancy will persist in the lower end of the office market. There are several possibilities of how to cope with vacancy, one of which is conversion. However, actions usually take place on building level and not on urban level. There are many cases where actions on building level aren’t sufficient but action needs to be taken on urban scale. Knowledge on the impact of the area on office vacancy should be further developed, as should the urban strategies of regenerating an office area. To deal with office vacancy is an assignment with urban dimensions.

Aim
The aim of this research is twofold. The aim is (1) to find common location characteristics increasing the risk of the occurrence of structural office vacancy, and (2) to design an urban strategy for an office district with high office vacancy in Utrecht. This graduation project has focussed on the following three aspects in particular; (1) validating previous research results in a different context, (2) specifying these results with different research methods and (3) developing a regeneration strategy on urban area level for an office district.

The structure of the research is to first identify which location characteristics are increasing risk on structural office vacancy in office districts. With that knowledge, the next question is how to eliminate these found factors and define an urban strategy to revitalize an area with high vacancy rates. This results in the following main research question: “Which and to what extent do location characteristics increase the risk of the occurrence of structural office vacancy in Utrecht, and what kind of urban strategies are needed to regenerate the Merwede quarter, an area with high structural office vacancy?”

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The location of structurally vacant offices (thesis)

  1. 1. the location of structurally vacant officesThe link between location characteristics and structuraloffice vacancy in Utrecht, and how to regenerate theMerwede quarter, an area with high office vacancyDelft University of TechnologyMaster thesis in Architecture, Urbanism & Building ScienceReinier van WingerdenJanuary 2013
  2. 2. iiTitleThe location of structurally vacant officesSubtitleThe link between location characteristics and structuraloffice vacancy in Utrecht, and how to regenerate theMerwede quarter, an area with high office vacancyCoverView on Kanaleneiland (adapted from Bing, 2012)PersonaliaReinier van WingerdenStudent number: B1274074Address: Bagijnhof 71, 2611 AN DelftTelephone: +31 (0)6 470 841 57E-mail: r.vanwingerden@quicknet.nlDelft University of TechnologyMSc in Architecture, Urbanism & Building ScienceFaculty of ArchitectureAddress: Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL DelftTelephone: +31 (0)15 278 9805E-mail: info@tudelft.nlDepartment of Real estate & HousingReal Estate Management labCoordinator: Dr. Ir. D.J.M. van der VoordtMain mentor: Dr. Ir. H.T. RemøySecond mentor: Drs. P.W. KoppelsDepartment of UrbanismUrban Regeneration labCoordinator: Dr. Ir. P.L.M. StoutenMain mentor: Dr. Ir. P.L.M. StoutenSecond mentor: Ir. L.P.J. van den BurgOfficeUpGraduation companyAddress: Regulierenring 35, 3981 LA BunnikTelephone: +31 (0)30 659 8414E-mail: info@officeup.nlMentor: Ir. R.G. MullerDelft, January 16th2013the location of structurally vacant officesThe link between location characteristics and structuraloffice vacancy in Utrecht, and how to regenerate theMerwede quarter, an area with high office vacancyDelft University of TechnologyMaster thesis in Architecture, Urbanism & Building ScienceReinier van WingerdenJanuary 2013
  3. 3. iiiContentsPreface������������������������������������������������������� ivAbstract������������������������������������������������������ 1Part I Introduction1..Introduction���������������������������������������������� 91.1 Problem statement 101.2 Stakeholders 101.3 Location 111.4 Aim 111.5 Research questions 121.6 Research design 121.7 Final products 131.8 Hypothesis 131.9 Relevance 142..Context�������������������������������������������������� 152.1 The Netherlands 172.2 The Utrecht region 182.3 Office areas 212.4 Kanaleneiland 27Part II causes of vacancy3..Theoretical framework����������������������������� 293.1 Mismatch 303.2 Location characteristics 323.2.1 Accessibility 343.2.2 Facilities 363.2.3 Public space 363.2.4 Prestige 383.2.5 Functionality 393.2.6 Environment 403.3 Building characteristics 403.4 Overview 423.5 Conclusions 444..Empirical������������������������������������������������ 454.1 Data collection 464.2 Descriptive statistics 484.3 Exploratory data analysis 504.3.1 Accessibility 534.3.2 Facilities 594.3.3 Public space 614.3.4 Prestige 654.3.5 Functionality 724.3.6 Environment 764.3.7 Building 774.4 Multi-collinearity 804.5 Explanatory analysis 804.5.1 Logistic regression 804.5.2 Regression model 814.6 Conclusions 845..Conclusions cause����������������������������������� 855.1 Conclusions 855.2 Remarks 875.3 Accessibility of data 87Part III coping with vacancy6..Theoretical framework����������������������������� 896.1 Interventions 906.2 Functions 946.3 Conclusions 967..Location analysis������������������������������������� 977.1 Kanaleneiland 997.1.1 Historical development 997.1.2 Design 1057.1.3 Deprivation 1057.1.4 Office vacancy 1067.2 Merwede quarter 1067.2.1 Causes location 1087.2.2 Exploratory factors location 1117.2.3 Inventory buildings 1117.2.4 Causes building 1127.2.5 Surrounding areas 1187.2.6 Developments 1187.3 Conclusions 1218..Urban regeneration��������������������������������1238.1 Current situation 1248.2 Strategies 1258.2.1 Merwede mixed environment 1268.2.2 Facilitating centre 1338.2.3 Claiming the public space 1408.2.4 Implementation 1478.2.5 Final outcome 1488.3 Conclusions 1509..Conclusions�������������������������������������������1519.1 Conclusions 1519.2 Remarks 151Part IV conclusions10..... Overall conclusions���������������������������15410.1 Research findings 15410.1.1 Causes of vacancy 15410.1.2 Coping with vacancy 15410.2 Implications for practice 15410.3 Further research 15510.3.1 Causes of vacancy 15510.3.2 Coping with vacancy 155Literature�������������������������������������������������157Appendix I. Mentors 160Appendix II. Terminology 161Appendix III. Variables studies 163The location of structurally vacant offices
  4. 4. ivPrefaceThis thesis is the final product of my graduation project for the departments of Real estate Housing andUrbanism at Delft University of Technology. The topic of this graduation project is the location characteristicsof structurally vacant offices. Structural vacancy is an issue that troubles the minds of researchers, developers,owners and many more, including me. At the beginning of my study in Delft, the feeling prevailed that everythingwas possible in the building industry. Currently, the situation on the market is a lot more troubling than everbefore, changing the way of looking to real estate. Structural vacancy is one of the current problems on a marketwere the sky used to be the limit. It seems to me that the sky has been reached.Due to the current crisis in the building industry, the role of the real estate manager is changing. Instead ofdeveloping real estate at high speed, conversion of the current stock is becoming much more important. Withthe amount of square meters of office space being larger than the demand, offices can stand out by increasinglymeeting the demands of office users. But not only the building needs to meet the demands of office users, itslocation is perhaps as important. Knowledge of what users do and what users do not want is therefore increasinglyimportant. Office conversion research often looks at the possibility of transforming a single building at a time.This scope may not be wide enough. When problems on area level are apparent, conversion on building levelis insignificant. Problems on urban level should in my view be attacked on urban level. Therefore knowledge ofdemand on urban level is ever so important. This research, investigating what kind of office locations becomevacant, will contribute to that knowledge and to the position of the real estate manager in a changing context.Office location conversions will also provide an interesting subject for urban designers. Current trends ask forurban developments within the city limits, no longer outside. Densifying and intensifying is the new assignment.While old industrial areas are a type of area within city limits which are regularly being regenerated, officelocations are not yet. This thesis could prove a first investigation of the possibilities of bringing new life to officelocations.In my opinion, for professionals in the building industry it will become equally important to be able to identifythe demand of users, as to offer commercially attractive solutions. An urbanist with solely knowledge of mattersof designing but no knowledge of the requirements and feasibility of area development will be overruled byprofessionals that can combine best of both worlds. The same applies for real estate managers or developers;without an integrated design for the area, their projects could become less feasible. As a personal objective,combining best of both worlds is what I’m trying to achieve by combining Real estate Housing with Urbanism.This thesis offered a good test of my ability to do so. Enjoy reading.Reinier van Wingerden, Delft, January 2013
  5. 5. 1AbstractIntroductionThis study is dedicated to the problem of structural office vacancy, a problem that seems quantitative at first. Bythe end of 2011, 6.8 million m² LFA was left vacant in the Netherlands, equalling 14.1% of the office stock, andthis percentage is still growing (DTZ Zadelhoff, 2012). Multiple parties expect this percentage to rise in the comingyears. The expectations range from 20% in 2020 (NVB, 2011), 25% in 2020 (Dynamis, 2011) or already in 2015(ABN AMRO, 2011) or even 48% in 2030 (ING Economisch Bureau, 2011). A large part of the vacant offices, 28%(DTZ Zadelhoff, 2010), are structurally vacant, i.e. for a period of at least three consecutive years. In Utrecht, thecity under study, 8.3% of its office stock is vacant (Gemeente Utrecht, 2011b).AimThe aim of this research is twofold. The aim is (1) to find common location characteristics increasing the risk ofthe occurrence of structural office vacancy, and (2) to design an urban strategy for an office district with highoffice vacancy in Utrecht. This graduation project has focussed on the following three aspects in particular; (1)validating previous research results in a different context, (2) specifying these results with different researchmethods and (3) developing a regeneration strategy on urban area level for an office district.KEYWORDS: structural office vacancy, location, cause, cope, urban regeneration, UtrechtMain research questionThe structure of the research is to first identify which location characteristics are increasing risk on structuraloffice vacancy in office districts. With that knowledge, the next question is how to eliminate these found factorsand define an urban strategy to revitalize an area with high vacancy rates. This results in the following mainresearch question:“Which and to what extent do location characteristics increase the risk of the occurrence of structural officevacancy in Utrecht, and what kind of urban strategies are needed to regenerate the Merwede quarter, an areawith high structural office vacancy?”The main research question consists of two parts; the first about causes of office vacancy and the second aboutcoping with office vacancy. This division can be recognized in the structure of the report.Sub research questionsTo find an answer to the main questions, several sub research questions are defined. The sub research questionscan also be distinguished as questions regarding the causes of office vacancy, and questions concerning how tocope with office vacancy. In the following sections, these questions will be elaborated.PART I Causes of vacancy“What is the assumed reciprocity between location characteristics and structural office vacancy?”Macro levelOffice vacancy is caused by a mismatch of demand and supply, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitativemismatch is caused by the market approached from a space market point of view; a geographically determinedoffice space market. Quantitative causes start with the phenomenon of cyclical fluctuations of surplusesand deficits in the market is widely known as the ‘hog cycle’. Somewhat different is surplus production, in ageographically determined market such as a city, or on a specific location, caused by the ‘spatial fix’. Societal andeconomic changes affect user demand as well. Currently this is clearly visible since due to the economic crisis,the amount of office jobs had decreased, therefore demand for office space has declined. Another influenceis ‘the new way of working’, decreasing demand since companies can cope with less office space. In a normalfunctioning market, a vacancy percentage of 4 – 5% is necessary to offer space for companies to move betweenbuildings, which is called frictional vacancy. Qualitative factors influence buildings to become vacant as well. Asquality standards rise, buildings can become obsolete in a short amount of time. Finally, the quality of both thebuilding and the location very much determine which buildings become vacant; the least desired building andthe least desired locations.The location of structurally vacant offices
  6. 6. 2“What location characteristics are generally believed to be related to the causes of office vacancy, and how canthey be measured?”Meso levelThe conceptual model on meso level is based on the research factors of four studies (De Vrij, 2004, Geraedts andVan der Voordt, 2004, Remøy, 2010, Hegeman, 2011). The graduation study of De Vrij (2004) is taken into accountdue to the basis that it has established for the ‘conversion potential meter’. Geraedts and Van der Voordt (2004)have created an instrument for defining the lower end of the office premises market in ‘Good buildings drive outbad buildings’, which is included in the selection. ‘Out of office’ is the PhD thesis of Remøy (2010) in which shestudies, amongst other things, the cause of office vacancy. The final included research is the study of Hegeman(2011) which was the most recent study on the relation between a building and office users at the start of thisresearch.The definitions used by the researchers for the location category and location factor investigated are redefinedand compared to get an overview of what the researchers considered during their study. This resulted in sixlocation categories; accessibility, facilities, public space, prestige, functionality and environment. It is assumedthat depending on the outcome of these six categories, the location can have a match or a mismatch betweendemand and supply.The specific location factors that followed from these studies are: accessibility by car, airplane, train, metro, tramand bus; catering, parking and shopping facilities; green; image rating and safety; housing and employment; andnoise and odour pollution.“Is there a significant relationship between location characteristics and the occurrence of structural office vacancyin Utrecht?”Exploratory data analysisThe first step analysed the relation between a single independent variable and the dependent variable: structuralvacancy. This was done using simple regression for continuous data (interval or ratio) and binary logistic regressionfor nominal and ordinal data to look for significant correlation between the two. The exploratory analysis resultsin several variables with a relation to structural office vacancy. In Utrecht, structurally vacant offices:• are closest to the highway• are best accessible by car• are furthest away from a train station• are not well accessible by public transport• are far away from a tram stop• are not accessible from the city centre within three turns• have insufficient worker amenities within 500 meter• are located along poor to average public spaceo where comfort is poor where comfort to walk is poor or average where comfort to stand is poor where comfort to see is poor where comfort to talk is poor or averageo where enjoyment of sensory experiences is poor or average where possibilities to enjoy the scale are poor or average where possibilities to enjoy the positive aspects of the climate are poor or average• are located in a neighbourhood where the image is rated lowest of the city• are located in a neighbourhood where the highest percentage of inhabitants feel unsafe often• are located in areas with the least registered incidents of criminality of the city• are located in areas with the lowest percentage of inhabitants indicating traffic problems• are located in areas with the lowest amount of dwellings• are located in areas with the largest amount of jobs• are located in business districts or monofunctional office areas• are constructed between 1980 and 1989• have a low technical state façade
  7. 7. 3Multi-collinearityThe second step was to investigate the dataset for bivariate correlation. This shows interdependence, twovariables are mutually dependent on each other, which was the case between two characteristics;• There was a significant relationship between image and safety , r = 0.898, p (two-tailed) 0.01.“Which and to what extent do location characteristics increase risk of structural office vacancy in Utrecht?”ExplanatoryThe final step consisted of building a logistic regression model. In multivariate analysis, multiple variables areanalysed simultaneously. Logistic regression is type of data analysis that suits the available data with a dependentvariable (structural office vacancy) with a dichotomous outcome. This method enabled creating an explanatorymodel that explains why some of the buildings are structurally vacant and others are not by determining theinfluence of the variables. In Utrecht, structural vacant offices often share these characteristics:• are not well accessible by public transport• are located along public space where comfort is poorAbout the buildings can be stated that in Utrecht structurally vacant offices often:• have a low or medium technical state façadeCONCLUSIONS CauseBased on the answers on the sub research questions, the main question about the causes of structural officevacancy could be answered. The main question was: “Which and to what extent do location characteristicsincrease the risk of the occurrence of structural office vacancy in Utrecht?”This question can be answered by the results of the explanatory analysis. Risk increasing location characteristicsare:• Modality: when not well accessible by public transport, the higher the odds of structural office vacancyGoudappel Coffeng (2011) measured this by the mobility by the amount of people that can access an area within30 minutes by public transport.• Comfort of public space: the lower the comfort of the public space, the higher the odds of structural officevacancyThis can be measured by Gehl’s method (2006) of assessment of possibilities to walk, stand, sit, see, talk and play.The main question asked was: “Which and to what extent do location characteristics increase the risk of theoccurrence of structural office vacancy in Utrecht?”. There were four studies selected which look at what locationcharacteristics are risk increasing factors in terms of vacancy (De Vrij, 2004, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004,Hegeman, 2011, Remøy, 2010). The analysis of these studies led to a number of location characteristics, as well asa few building characteristics, to be studied in the city of Utrecht. These characteristics, studied by 102 buildingsof which 21 structurally vacant, were analysed using logistic regression to determine the relationship betweenthe location and office vacancy. The final outcome was that in Utrecht structurally vacant offices:• Are not well accessible by public transport• Have a low comfort of public space• Have a low or medium maintenance state of the façadeThe location of structurally vacant offices
  8. 8. 4PART II Coping with vacancy“What kind of methods are available in order to regenerate an area with high vacancy?”InterventionsMost common methods to cope with office vacancy are interventions on building level. When solutions onbuilding level are not sufficient, actions can be undertaken on urban area level; urban regeneration. Possibleinterventions are:• Consolidation (neither quantitative nor qualitative)• Modernisation (qualitative)• Conversion (quantitative)• Demolishment (quantitative)• Urban regeneration (quantitative and/or qualitative)ProblemsThe problems where urban regeneration could provide solutions are:• Economic activity lost• Social dysfunction• Social exclusion• Environmental quality lost• Ecological balance lostActionsThe ingredients for (an) urban regeneration (plan) are:• A comprehensive vision• Strategic, long term improvements• Improvements in the economic, physical, social or environmental conditionsUrban area (re-)developmentThe increasing urban dynamics have consequences for the complexity of urban area developments, wherefore itis important to know the ingredients of urban area development; context, content, actors and means (Franzen etal., 2010). The context of an area very much determines the intervention method.FunctionsWhen converting buildings, it is important to find a match between demand and supply. There are all sorts ofdifferent functions possible, which include:• Dwellings• Student housing• Housing for the elderly• (Public) facilities• Retail• Hotels• Catering facilities• Healthcare facilities• Art/cultureWith conversion projects it is often not possible to initiate action without a combination of functions. Buildings areoften too large for one single function or user. To achieve the most efficient use of the building, it is an option tohouse several functions.
  9. 9. 5“What are the problems of the location in the Merwede quarter in Utrecht?”ObstaclesDue to the phased additions to the city, Kanaleneiland is surrounded by obstacles such as the Merwede canaland Amsterdam-Rhine canal, as well as the highway A12. Kanaleneiland became an autonomous district, slightlyisolated from the rest of the city. The post war design of the area, by C.M. van der Stad, carefully designed thewhole area, except for a zoning plan assigned for industry and businesses in the East. In this part is the Merwedequarter, the area within Kanaleneiland with the most square meters of structurally vacant offices. Therefore thisarea formed the main design area for this research.Post war designKanaleneiland is a typical example of a post war district, except for three major differences from other post wardistricts; (1) Kanaleneiland has very wide roads, (2) it was designed to prioritise car use and (3) there was nopublic green between the building blocks. The four key points of the design were:• Large scale• North-South orientation• Intensive land use and industrial building method• Differentiation of the Northern partDeprivationInitially the inhabitants were very satisfied with their dwellings. At the end of the 1960s the opinion aboutthe area changed. The scale of the new areas was seen as too large and too monotonous. Due to the lack oflarger terraced housing, the district became less popular among the middle class. Although the neighbourhoodconcept was the dominant form at that time, in current times the clustering of facilities is experienced as socialdysfunction. In the 1970s there was not sufficient funds to maintain or renew the outdated facilities, and thepublic green was used for the construction of new housing, schools and sports fields. Deprivation of public spaceand porticos occurred and apartments obtained a negative image due to the impersonal scale and the anonymousatmosphere. Kanaleneiland was appointed as a deprived neighbourhood (‘probleemwijk’).Office vacancyKanaleneiland has been chosen as main subject for the part about coping with vacancy because this area has themost square meters office space vacant of Utrecht. The largest problems in terms of structural office vacancy canbe found in the Mewede quarter.Causes locationThe Merwede quarter is well accessible by public transport, therefore these problems are not apparent on thislocation. The comfort of the public space is to be assessed as poor, which is a factor which increases risk onstructural office vacancy occurring.BuildingsThere are 14 offices in the area from the 31 buildings in total. Four of them are partly vacant and three of themare completely vacant. Other functions are industrial buildings (with office space), two gas stations, two shopsand a fish shop. There is also an abundance of parking space.Causes buildingThe technical state of the façades in the Merwede quarter are up to standard, therefore not increasing risk onoffice vacancy occurring.DevelopmentsThe area is surrounded by many different functions, such as offices, industrial buildings, commercial areas andhousing. The area is in transition, by the structure vision of the Municipality of Utrecht and the A12 Zone plan,which both envision a greater mix of functions. Change can already be seen by some housing projects in theimmediate surroundings of the Merwede quarter.The location of structurally vacant offices
  10. 10. 6Urban regenerationThe problems described above can be distinguished as loss of economic activity; clearly visible by the vacancy inthe area; social dysfunction; the design of the area according to the neighbourhood concept led to segregation,and social exclusion; for instance the small diversity of households in Kanaleneiland. There are problems in theMerwede quarter that can be addressed by urban regenerationCONCLUSIONS Coping with vacancyThe main research question for how to cope with office vacancy is as follows:“What kind of urban strategies are needed to regenerate the Merwede quarter, an area with high structural officevacancy?”The problems with vacancy are both quantitative as qualitative. The Merwede quarter is an area where economicactivity is lost, where there is social dysfunction and where social exclusion is apparent (Couch et al., 2003). Urbanregeneration is concerned with solving this type of problems. Due to the economic crisis, blue print designing isno longer an option. Urban regeneration requires a comprehensive vision and strategic long term improvementsin the economic, physical, social or environmental conditions (Roberts and Sykes, 2000). The comprehensivevision foresees an area with a clear centre where some facilities are and people come to meet and relax, acomfortable public space centrally in the design which acts as the main axis and offers space for office usersto relax during breaks, and an recreational route along the Merwede canal where people can benefit from thebeautiful environment, and most importantly; problems with office vacancy are diminished.The area was scanned for locations that offer possibilities to offer strategic solutions. Three locations wereselected; a part in the North with two (to be) vacant office buildings, a few industrial buildings quite centrallylocated in the area, and the two long roads within the area. For these locations, interventions from which thearea would benefit were designed. The strategies are designed to have different phases; the first phase withinterventions are intended to stimulate further interventions in a second phase.Merwede mixed environmentThis strategy aims to convert vacant offices into housing and thereby creating a mixed environment in the area.Parking space at the site could be converted step-wise into semi-public space for the inhabitants.The effect of this strategy would be that more activity during and after work hours is generated, increasing thesocial control. That could mean that the safety en thereby the image of the area would improve, increasingthe desirability of living and working in this area. Occupancy of the offices could be positively affected by theimproved situation in the area, and further implementation of bringing housing to the area would be stimulatedalong the Merwede Canal since apartments are often of higher value than the industrial buildings currently inthe area.Facilitating centreFacilitating centre is a strategy aimed to start off with tackling the problem of vacant industrial buildings quitecentrally located in the area. The industrial buildings can be converted into a café-restaurant, a city beach anda breeding place for starting companies; thereby solving the problem social dysfunction. The large terrainsurrounding these industrial buildings can be converted into public space, creating a centre in the area whereusers can go. As a spin-off, owners of adjacent buildings can decide to convert or demolish their (low value)industrial buildings and replace them by facilities; either only in the plinth or in the whole building.The effect of the strategy could be that the activities in the area increase, both during work hours as after workhours. As with the previous strategy, the social control would thereby increase, increasing the feeling of safetyand the image of the area. The part with facilities would start to act as a true centre of the area, creating anidentity of the Merwede quarter. These positive effects could have impact on the desirability of the offices, whichwould increase, bringing down office vacancy. When the facilities in the area proof successful, owners of theadjacent industrial buildings could opt for selling their land in order to convert or demolish the existing buildingand adding more facilities to the area.
  11. 11. 7Claiming the public spaceThe strategy aims to give back the public space to the pedestrians and cyclists in several steps, in order to activatelive on the street and create an identity for the area to which the users can relate. This is done by taking spacefrom the cars to be assigned to pedestrians. The Zeehaenkade can be gradually banning cars totally, giving thespace to pedestrians and cyclists.A direct result of the strategy could be that the comfort of the public space would increase, generating moreliveliness on the street. The Zeehaenkade could start to act as a recreational route, increasing activity both duringwork hours as after. Hereby the social control would increase, which can increase the feeling of safety and theimage of the area. This could have a positive effect on office use, as simultaneously the identity of the area startsto improve. The willingness to invest in the public space could increase as positive effects can be seen from thisstrategy, further improving the public space of the area.ImplementationThe strategies can be implemented immediately. They can be implemented at the same time, but not necessarily.In order to stimulate initiatives, but to prevent uncontrolled sprawl, a zoning plan for the Merwede quarter isnecessary to steer developments.The location of structurally vacant offices
  12. 12. 8PartIIntroduction
  13. 13. Figure 1. Vacant office (Reformatorisch dagblad, 2012)91. IntroductionThis chapter gives a broad overview of the thesis subject, starting with the problem under study, the location ofthe research, the research questions, the research design and the hypothesis. These subjects will be elaboratedupon in the next chapters.1.The location of structurally vacant offices
  14. 14. QualitativeQuantitativeBuilding LocationMarketFigure 2. Quantitative and qualitative factors101.1 Problem statementThis research started out in 2011 when the total supply of office space in the Netherlands was 48.2 million m²lettable floor area (LFA). Of these offices, 6.8 million m² LFA was left vacant in Q4 2011, meaning there was14.1% office vacancy and this percentage is still slowly growing (DTZ Zadelhoff, 2012). Multiple parties expectthis percentage to rise in the coming years. The expectations range from 20% in 2020 (NVB, 2011), 25% in 2020(Dynamis, 2011) or already in 2015 (ABN AMRO, 2011) or even 48% in 2030 (ING Economisch Bureau, 2011). Alarge part of the vacant offices, 28% (DTZ Zadelhoff, 2010), are structurally vacant, i.e. for a period of at least threeconsecutive years.Office vacancy occurs due to a mismatch in demand and supply, both quantitative (the market) as qualitative(building and location characteristics). The economic crisis led to a decrease of office jobs, leading to a declineddemand for office space. Simultaneously, ‘the new way of working’ ensures that companies can cope with lessoffice space than before. The ageing population in the Netherlands causes the working population to decrease,also bringing down the demand.Currently there are still new buildings being developed. These buildings usually meet the qualitative demands ofoffice user organizations, causing the lower end of the office market to become vacant.Although there are experts who believe the market will improve, others are more sceptical. They state that thereis a structural surplus in the office market, and that vacancy will persist in the lower end of the office market(Voordt et al., 2007, de Architekten Cie, 2007).There are several possibilities of how to cope with vacancy, one of which is conversion. However, actions usuallytake place on building level and not on urban level. There are many cases where actions on building level aren’tsufficient but action needs to be taken on urban scale. Knowledge on the impact of the area on office vacancyshould be further developed, as should the urban strategies of regenerating an office area. To deal with officevacancy is an assignment with urban dimensions as Architekten Cie states (2007).1.2 StakeholdersHousing and commercial real estate were hit hardest of the building sector by the crisis, with a decline in turnoverof over 8% in 2009 (ANP, 2010b). Vacancy is causing economic problems for office owners and investors, since thebuilding is providing less or no revenues (Deloitte Real Estate Advisory, 2011).Official bodies, such as the government and municipality, will lose (tax) revenues. Municipalities can lose incomeof up to 3 billion euro every year since many developments have been stopped or delayed (Deloitte Real EstateAdvisory, 2011). Land development used to be a stable source of income for municipalities, but since demand ofoffice space declined drastically, municipalities have trouble selling land to developers. Land value has declinedwhile expenses are rising through the many square meters of unsellable land, causing municipalities to havefinancial difficulties paying off interest (NRC Handelsblad, 2010). For society, consisting of office users, residentsand passers, vacancy causes problems of insecurity and social uncertainty (van der Voordt et al., 2007).As a secondary effect, vacancy can give a surrounding area a negative image, decreasing the attractiveness forall stakeholders, leading to deterioration of that area as a whole and devaluation of its buildings. This could leadto further downwards spiralling developments, which will cause problems for the functioning of a city, againinfluencing involved stakeholders.
  15. 15. 111.3 LocationMany studies on structural office vacancy and conversion possibilities were performed in Amsterdam. Research inAmsterdam on structural vacancy revealed that locations with a high number of office buildings and employmentin the manufacturing or distribution sector, together with a lack of facilities and low quality land use for publicspace are locations that are left vacant (Remøy, 2010).My thesis was performed in the office market in Utrecht in order to validate these results or reveal differences towhat kind of locations are left vacant. There are two different scales on which location characteristics play a role.One is one area level; location characteristics that apply to all the buildings within a certain area. The other scaleis on building level; location characteristics that differ between buildings within a certain area.1.4 AimResearch has already been done on the relation between office locations and office vacancy, and still new researchis being performed since office vacancy is a very current topic. However, research has not been done in the city ofUtrecht, which could lead to different results. Office vacancy is mostly being researched by researchers with a realestate background, while an approach based on the analysis of the urban context could lead to different insights.Methods to regenerate offices are also being researched from a real estate point of view on building level, whilealso here an approach based on the urban context could lead to new strategies.The aim of the research is twofold. The aim is (1) to find common location characteristics increasing the risk ofthe occurrence of structural office vacancy, and (2) to design an urban strategy for an office district with highoffice vacancy in Utrecht. This graduation project has focussed on the following three aspects in particular; (1)validating previous research results in a different context, (2) specifying these results with different researchmethods and (3) developing a regeneration strategy on urban area level for an office district.1. Introduction
  16. 16. Figure 3. Research designresearch questiondata analysisliterature studylocation analysisconclusionsliterature studyconclusions“Which and to what extent do locationcharacteristics increase the risk of theoccurrence of structural office vacancyin Utrecht, and what kind of urbanstrategies are needed to regeneratethe Merwede quarter, an area withhigh structural office vacancy?”“Is there a significant relationshipbetween location characteristics andthe occurrence of structural officevacancy in Utrecht?”“What location characteristics aregenerally believed to be related to thecauses of office vacancy, and how canthey be measured?”“What are the problems of thelocation in the Merwede quarter inUtrecht?”“Which and to what extent do locationcharacteristics increase the risk of theoccurrence of structural office vacancyin Utrecht?”“What kind of spatial interventionstrategies are available in order toregenerate an urban area with a highlevel of structural office vacancy?”“What kind of urban strategies areneeded to regenerate the Merwedequarter, an area with high structuraloffice vacancy?”???????conceptual models“What is the assumed reciprocitybetween location characteristics andstructural office vacancy?”causes ofvacancycoping withvacancy121.5 Research questionsMain research questionThe structure of the research is to first identify whichlocation characteristics are increasing risk on structuraloffice vacancy in office districts. With that knowledge,the next question is how to eliminate these foundfactors and define an urban strategy to revitalizean area with high vacancy rates. This results in thefollowing main research question:“Which and to what extent do location characteristicsincrease the risk of the occurrence of structural officevacancy in Utrecht, and what kind of urban strategiesare needed to regenerate the Merwede quarter, anarea with high structural office vacancy?”The main research question consists of two parts; thefirst about causes of office vacancy and the secondabout coping with office vacancy. This division can berecognized in the structure of the report.Sub research questionsTo find an answer to the main questions, several subresearch questions are defined. The sub researchquestions can also be distinguished as questionsregarding the causes of office vacancy, and questionsconcerning how to cope with office vacancy.“What is the assumed reciprocity between locationcharacteristics and structural office vacancy?”“What location characteristics are generally believedto be related to the causes of office vacancy, and howcan they be measured?”“Is there a significant relationship between locationcharacteristics and the occurrence of structural officevacancy in Utrecht?”“What kind of spatial intervention strategies areavailable in order to regenerate an urban area with ahigh level of structural office vacancy?”“What are the problems of the location in the Merwedequarter in Utrecht?”1.6 Research designFigure 3 outlines the main steps that were taken inthe process of working towards answering the mainresearch question with the sub research questionsabout the causes and how to cope with office vacancy.The main question derived from assumed reciprocitybetween office vacancy and location characteristics.Several conceptual models were formed, describingthis relationship. Based on these assumptions,
  17. 17. 13literature study was done concerning the causes of office vacancy. The gained information was linked back to theconceptual models. The location characteristics which were assumed to be related to the causes of office vacancywhere measured and analysed for a significant correlation. From this analysis conclusions were drawn about thelocation characteristics that increase risk on office vacancy.The conclusions about the causes of vacancy formed the input for the literature study concerning coping withvacancy. The factors that were mentioned in literature were analysed in the location of the Merwede quarter.Results in this analysis led to further research in literature, and vice versa. The final step was researching bydesigning: strategies were formed aimed at solving the problems with office vacancy and answering the mainquestion about how to cope with office vacancy.1.7 Final productsThe research is a fully intertwined project of both Real estate Housing as Urbanism. The final products are notdifferentiated as products for one of the master tracks. There is however a distinction between the part about thecauses of structural office vacancy, which has a focus from Real estate Housing perspective, and the part aboutcoping with office vacancy, which has a focus from Urbanism perspective.Causes of vacancyThe final product is a checklist of certain location factors that incidate increasing risk on structural office vacancy.This knowledge can be used by governments, municipalities, developers, urban designers and office userorganizations in order to prevent structural office vacancy or to respond to structural office vacancy. Assessingthe quality of a location can be improved by using the checklist, indicating what should and what should not beintegrated at a location.Coping with vacancyThe final products are urban regeneration strategies implemented in an urban design for the Merwede quarter,an office district within Utrecht with high structural office vacancy. The urban regeneration strategies can beused by the stakeholders involved in that specific area or the city of Utrecht as a whole, and by governments,municipalities, developers and urban designers as an example of how to revitalize an urban area with highstructural vacancy.1.8 HypothesisThe hypothesis, concerning the cause of vacancy, was that the following location characteristics are increasingrisk on the occurrence of structural office vacancy:• Poor accessibility by train• Bad connection to city centre• Lack of shopping and catering facilities• Low comfort of public space• Low image of the neighbourhood• Unsafe neighbourhood• Outdated office park type: first generation office parks• Monofunctional office areaThe second hypothesis, concerning how to cope with vacancy, was that eliminating (the effect) of the locationcharacteristics that increaserisk on structural officevacancy occurring will decreaseofficevacancy. This hypothesisis based on the assumption that structural office vacancy is a qualitative problem.1. Introduction
  18. 18. 141.9 RelevanceSocietalStructural vacancy is a societal problem because it creates not only property depreciation, but also overduemaintenance, degeneration, social insecurity and a bad image, leading to downwards spiralling developments of(office) locations (Remøy et al., 2009). Property depreciation is not limited to the vacant building; recent studyhas shown that the rents of adjacent buildings drop due to vacancy of neighbouring buildings (Koppels et al.,2011).Moreover, vacancy represents a threat to a sustainably built environment, as new office space is added whileexisting office space is already redundant. Increasing knowledge on this matter could contribute to the theoryto prevent structural office vacancy or to respond to structural office vacancy, providing a better working and/or living environment. This theory can be used by governments, municipalities, developers, urban designers andoffice user organizations.AcademicIncreasing knowledge on structural vacancy is relevant for academics in multiple ways. This research will furtherdevelop the knowledge on the influence of location characteristics on structural office vacancy. The outcomes willhelp understanding why office vacancy occurs. Locations with these characteristics could be identified as locationswith high risk on office vacancy. Furthermore, research on what spatial strategies are needed to revitalize an areawith high structural office vacancy will contribute to the knowledge of how to prevent or cope with structuraloffice vacancy. Societies have become more aware over the last 30 years of the growing environmental costs ofeconomic competition and urbanisation, and the need for more sustainable forms of development (Couch et al.,2003). The ability to design urban areas without structural office vacancy is a step towards a sustainable builtenvironment, with less use of materials, less need of conversion and an enlarged lifespan of office buildings. “Itis of major importance to gain insight on the positioning of offices within the city to create an impression of thepotential for future developments of vacant offices but especially of office areas” (de Architekten Cie, 2007).
  19. 19. Figure 4. Office building becoming vacant in Papendorp (Architecture-buildings.com, 2012)152. ContextThe research is performed in the Dutch city of Utrecht. For the part about the causes of vacancy, the scope isthe whole city. Research about coping with vacancy is performed on a smaller scale; the Merwede quarter inKanaleneiland. The relevant context of the location with its surroundings is described in this chapter.2.The location of structurally vacant offices
  20. 20. Figure 5. Overview of the G4 within the NetherlandsAmsterdamUtrechtThe HagueRotterdamairportharbouruniversityRandstadinhabitants16
  21. 21. GermanyBelgium300 km/h160 km/h140 km/h130 km/h120 km/h 120 km/htrain stationFigure 6. Road network (adapted from Ministerie vanInfrastructuur en Milieu, 2011)GermanyBelgiumtravel time targettravel time targetinsufficient dataFigure 7. Train network172.1 The NetherlandsUtrecht is one of the four biggest cities in theNetherlands, complemented by Amsterdam,Rotterdam and The Hague. These cities together areknown as the G4; the four major cities. The G4 initiatedthe Big City Policy (Grotestedenbeleid) which is set outevery five years in order to improve working and livingconditions in these municipalities (Ministerie voorWonen Wijken en Integratie, 2012). The policy scopewas later on expanded with another 33 municipalitiesnamed the G32. There are five fields covered in thispolicy; work, education, security, quality of life andhealth care (Stouten, 2010). The G4 lies within theRandstad, the largest urban area in the Netherlandswhich has the ambition to be functioning as a strongmetropolis.Figure 4 shows an overview of the Netherlands withspecial focus on the G4 within the Randstad area. Theimage abstractly visualizes the amount of inhabitants,the sizes of the universities and the main airportsand harbours. It is clearly visible that most activitiesare clustered in the Randstad. Almost every largemunicipality in the Randstad is positioned in a clusteraround the four major cities.The most important international airport is positionedsouthwest of Amsterdam. Although there is animportant harbour in Amsterdam as well, the mostimportant harbour business-wise is in Rotterdam. Thelargest university is positioned in Utrecht.Figure 6 gives an indication of the road network in theNetherlands. Most connections are found in the sameareaofAmsterdam,Rotterdam,theHagueandUtrecht.This image shows an integration of the research fromthe government about the travel time per route. In theregion around Utrecht and Amsterdam, it indicated anenlarged travel time due to traffic-jams. For commutertraffic, this can generate great discomfort.Figure 7 gives an overview of the train network in theNetherlands and the maximum speeds per track. Thefastest track leads from the main airport via Rotterdamto Belgium, and from there to France and the UnitedKingdom. It is noticeable that Utrecht is not directlyconnected to this route. However, this track is notincluded in the normal public transport serviceswithin the Netherlands, but requires an extra fee.When looking at the included services, Utrecht andAmsterdam are very well connected. Amsterdam hasthe highest number of people entering and exiting thetrains, closely followed by Utrecht (Treinreiziger.nl,2009). This number does not include people changingtrains, and as a central node in the Netherlands, thestation of Utrecht could well be the most used one.2. Context
  22. 22. NL Amsterdam Rotterdam The Hague UtrechtPopulation January 1st 2010 * 16,577,612 767,849 590,131 489,375 306,731Jobs * 8,032,079 507,575 319,936 265,898 220,568Office jobs *** 2,265,500 264,400 151,550 207,800 124,000Office space in use m² LFA *** 40,899,000 5,650,000 3,869,000 5,847,000 2,950,000Relative vacancy ** 13.7% 17.5% 12.1% 8.8% 8.3%Average rents office space Class A €/m²/year ** € 340 € 200 € 210 € 205Average rents office space €/m²/year *** € 143 € 198 € 137 € 138 € 138Table 1. General information G4 *(CBS,2011) **(GemeenteUtrecht, 2011) ***(DTZ Zadelhoff, 2011)Figure 8. Office space in use and construction plans in the G4(adapted from NVB, 2011)5,650,000 m²2,950,000 m²3,869,000 m²5,847,000 m²570,000 m²550,000 m²1,250,000 m²840,000 m²new developmentsupplyFigure 9. Vacancy in the G4 (adapted from Gemeente Utrecht,2011)17.5%12.1%8.8% 8.3%office space in usevacancy18Of all the cities in the G4, Utrecht has the smallestpopulation and the least amount of jobs. AlthoughUtrecht has the least square meters office space,also the lowest relative vacancy can be found there,8.3% as opposed to the highest, Amsterdam with17.5% (Gemeente Utrecht, 2011b). There is howevera substantial amount of development plans for newoffice space which is relatively high in Utrecht, whichwas expected to cause the relative vacancy to riselargely. This phenomenon can now be confirmed, aswith a rise of supply of 13.5%, Utrecht is troubled mostof the G4 by the market conditions (NVM, 2012).2.2 The Utrecht regionThe annual research by the Rabobank of the 40 COROPregions, regional areas within the Netherlands, showsthat de province of Utrecht has a relatively stablestrong position (Rabobank, 2011), however not asstrong as it was before 2007. The province is partof a group of regions with population growth aboveaverage, a positive employment development and afavourable business climate.An advisory body of the European Commission hasdeveloped a new index to demonstrate the strengthsand weaknesses of all of the 271 EU regions, to improvethe understanding of competitiveness of regionallevel. In this index Utrecht comes out as number one(Annoni and Kozovska, 2010).Due to the growing together of the cities of Utrecht andNieuwegein, the market of Utrecht is highly interwovenwith the market of Nieuwegein. Despite of this fact,Nieuwegein will not be taken into consideration in thisresearch since the data available on Nieuwegein ismuch less comprehensive as the data of Utrecht. Othermarkets that are surrounding Utrecht are Bunnik, DeBilt, Houten, IJsselstein, Maarssen, Vianen and Zeist.An overview of their location can be seen in figure 10.In contrast to the situation in the nineties, there isnow an abundant supply of office space in the G4for reasonable prices. Due to this, satellite townsaround the G4 see many companies moving backto the cities causing vacancy rates in these satellite
  23. 23. VacanyMunicipality % in 2008 % in 2011Bunnik 4.3 12.3De Bilt 8.4 16.9Houten 2.8 13.6IJsselstein 17.6 18.7Maarssen 24.3 32.3Nieuwegein 16.8 22.7Utrecht 7.0 8.3Vianen 25.4 17.9Zeist 4.3 7.1Table 2. Relative vacancy in Utrecht and its surroundings(adapted from Gemeente Utrecht, 2011)Figure 10. Utrecht and its surroundings (adapted from DTZ, 2011)UtrechtMaarssenNieuwegeinIJsselsteinVianenHoutenBunnikZeistDe Bilt0 1 2 3 kmroadrailwaywaterbuilt environment19towns to rise drastically (Hek et al., 2004). This can beconfirmed when looking at the vacancy rates for 2008and 2011 in the municipalities surrounding Utrecht.With the exception of Vianen and IJsselstein, everymunicipality has a large increase in relative vacancy.The vacancy rate in Houten has even risen from 2.8%to 13.6% in three years. For this total region, officevacancy has risen from 10.5% mid 2010 to 11.6% mid2011 (Gemeente Utrecht, 2011b). This is a highergrowth than the national average. There is also largedifference between the municipalities; Maarssen hasa substantial higher vacancy percentage (32.3%) asdoes Nieuwegein (22.7%). Utrecht has relatively lowvacancy, however in absolute numbers it has the mostvacant square meters.The EIB expects the demand to rise in the province ofUtrecht until 2020, but will decline between 2020 and2040 (EIB, 2011). This is based on a gradually decliningdemand for office space per employee.2. Context
  24. 24. Table 3. Overview office areas in Utrecht (adapted from Gemeente Utrecht, 2011)Figure 11. Office districts types in Utrecht (adapted from geografiek.nl)A27A2A2A12A12A28A27Leidsche Rijn CentrumLage WeideStationsgebiedOvervechtBinnenstadOostPapendorpKanaleneilandGalgenwaardRijnsweerdLunettenhighwaytrain stationmonofunctional office areaspread offices in business districtoffices in mixed environment (low density)offices in mixed environment (high density)A#0 1 2 3 4 5 kmOudenrijnArea Total stockm² LFASupplym² LFAUnsaleablesupplym² LFASubleasesupplym² LFAVacancym² LFALong termvacancym² LFAStationsgebied 633,200 10,800 0 1,400 1,100 0Oude Binnenstad 126,900 6,200 0 900 5,300 1,650Papendorp 307,200 65,600 40,700 51,700 48,600 30,100Oost 190,400 11,100 1,100 4,400 4,700 2,000Rijnsweerd 311,050 40,400 0 10,500 20,400 5,700Kanaleneiland 412,650 86,000 16,500 16,100 70,500 55,700Overvecht 76,000 6,100 6,100 0 3,800 1,900Lage Weide 163,000 35,500 16,400 0 31,200 19,950Oudenrijn 67,900 19,800 2,900 4,000 15,800 11,850Leidsche Rijn Centrum 18,700 0 0 0 0 0Overig Utrecht 209,500 15,100 600 0 8,800 1,750Total 2,552,600 297,100 82,000 89,000 210,700 122,20020
  25. 25. Figure 12. Vacancy in Kanaleneiland, Papendorp and LageWeideVacancyArea m² LFAin 2010*m² LFAin 2011**Kanaleneiland 62,200 70,500Papendorp 59,300 48,600Lage Weide 39,100 31,200Rijnsweerd 20,000 20,400Oudenrijn 21,500 15,800OudeBinnenstad2,300 5,300Oost 12,700 4,700Overvecht 5,700 3,800Stationsgebied 3,600 1,100Total 230,500 210,700VacancyArea m² LFAin 2010*m² LFAin 2011**Kanaleneiland 6,100 19,900Lage Weide 10,400 12,600Rijnsweerd 2,800 5,300Papendorp 4,000 3,000Oudenrijn 7,000 2,900Overvecht 1,400 2,900Oost 1,300 2,000OudeBinnenstad1,300 800Stationsgebied 0 0Total 34,100 50,200VacancyArea % in2010*% in2011**Oudenrijn 31.7 23.3Lage Weide 19.6 19.1Kanaleneiland 15.2 17.1Papendorp 20.0 15.8Rijnsweerd 6.4 6.6Overvecht 7.5 5.0OudeBinnenstad1.8 4.2Oost 6.7 2.5Stationsgebied 0.6 0.2Total 9.1 8.3Table 4. Absolute office vacancy*(adapted from DTZ, 2010) **(adaptedfrom Gemeente Utrecht, 2011)Table 5. Relative office vacancy*(adapted from DTZ, 2010) **(adaptedfrom Gemeente Utrecht, 2011)Table 6. Structural office vacancy*(adapted from DTZ, 2010) **(adaptedfrom Gemeente Utrecht, 2011)212.3 Office areasThere are several office areas within Utrecht, and thereare several definitions of these areas. For this research,the area definitions as defined by Geografiek will beused as these are being used by DTZ and the Utrechtmunicipality as well and the database in this researchis also from DTZ. These areas are shown in figure 11.There are three areas which will be taken out of thefurther research; Galgenwaard, Leidsche Rijn Centrumand Oudenrijn. Leidsche Rijn Centrum is an areawhich has just recently started its developments, andGalgenwaard has such a small stock that their figuresare taken up into ‘Utrecht other’ (overig Utrecht).Oudenrijn will not be taken into account since this areais missing in the database of DTZ, due to the fact that itdoes not belong to Utrecht in some definitions.Relatively the highest vacancy occurs in Oudenrijn,Lage Weide and Kanaleneiland. The range of vacancyrates is large; from 0.2% in Oost to 23.3% in Oudenrijn.In absolute numbers, Kanaleneiland stands out with70,500 m² LFA office vacancy, which is even more thanthe total supply of Oudenrijn.The structural vacancy has risen from 34,100 in 2010to 50,200 m² in 2011, which represents 23.8% oftotal vacancy. The Mayor and Alderman expect thatbetween 50,000 and 75,000 m² of office space isstructurally vacant in Utrecht (Gemeente Utrecht,2010a). However the amount of square meters ofunsalable offices is even higher; 82,000 m². Almosthalf of that, 40,700 m², is located in Oudenrijn. Thereis 122,200 m² office space which is vacant for morethan one year, which is 58,0% of total vacancy. A largeamount of this is located in Kanaleneiland; 55,700 m²(Gemeente Utrecht, 2011b).2. Context
  26. 26. Figure 13. Papendorp and RijnsweerdPapendorpType of area Monofunctional office areaType of location Highway locationAccessibility- Public transport Average by bus- Car GoodParking On-site, limited in public spaceTarget group ICT services, creative services,knowledge intensive activity,knowledge-intensive businessand financial services, medical /pharmaceutical activities, (semi)public services and governmentImage High quality office and businesslocationJobs 14,943RijnsweerdType of area Monofunctional office areaType of location Highway locationAccessibility- Public transport Good by bus- Car GoodParking Limited on-site, limited in publicspaceTarget group Medium and large business andfinancial services, insurancecompanies, public administration andnonprofit organizations.Image Mostly good appearance throughquality office buildings.Jobs 10,213N0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 km22The next pages show an inventory of the office areasin Utrecht that have been taken into account in theresearch. The tables combine information aboutthe type of area (Geografiek, 2011) and the type oflocation, accessibility, parking facilities, target group,image and amount of jobs as characterised by UtrechtInvestment Agency (2011).
  27. 27. Lage WeideType of area Spread offices in business districtType of location Highway locationAccessibility- Public transport Bus- Car GoodParking Reasonably sufficient on-site parking,limited in public spaceTarget group Midsize firms in business services,trade, automation and utilitiesImage Businesses with office space mainlymanufacturing and distribution, themost representative modern partlocated along the A2Jobs 19,707Figure 14. Kanaleneiland, Oudenrijn and StationsgebiedKanaleneilandType of area Mixed environment high densityType of location Highway locationAccessibility- Public transport Good; express tram- Car GoodParking Sufficient parking, freeTarget group Business services, publicadministration, automationImage Functional office buildings, mostmixed with other functionsJobs 20,812StationsgebiedType of area Mixed environment high densityType of location Inner city and train station locationAccessibility- Public transport Good, public transport hub- Car ExcellentParking Extensive public car parksTarget group Mainly large offices of banks,insurance companies, businessservices, transportation and non-profit organizationsImage Metropolitan centre environment withmany facilitiesJobs 30,416N0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 km232. Context
  28. 28. Figure 15. Binnenstad, Oost and OvervechtOvervechtType of area Mixed environment low densityType of location Train station locationAccessibility- Public transport Good- Car Average to goodParking Limited on-site parking, extensivepublic parkingTarget group Medium to large offices ofsocial organizations, trade andtransportationImage Small office clusters across the area,partly (renovated) old buildings andpartly representative new buildingsJobs 13,461OostType of area Mixed environment low densityType of location East of city centreAccessibility- Public transport Moderate- Car Average to goodParking Partly on-site, paid public parking,partly undergroundTarget group High profiled businessesImage Historical offices in old luxurymansions and villasJobsBinnenstadType of area Mixed environment low densityType of location Inner city locationAccessibility- Public transport Good- Car AverageParking Paid public parkingTarget group High profiled businessesImage Historical officesJobsN0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 km24
  29. 29. Figure 16. Birds eye view Papendorp (Bing, 2012) Figure 17. Birds eye view Stationsgebied (Bing, 2012)Figure 18. Birds eye view Rijnsweerd (Bing, 2012) Figure 19. Birds eye view Binnenstad (Bing, 2012)Figure 20. Birds eye view Kanaleneiland (Bing, 2012) Figure 21. Birds eye view Oost (Bing, 2012)Figure 22. Birds eye view Lage Weide (Bing, 2012) Figure 23. Birds eye view Overvecht (Bing, 2012)252. Context
  30. 30. Table 7. Plans new office space in Utrecht (adapted fromGemeente Utrecht, 2011)Certain Probable Uncertain TotalYear m² GFA m² GFA m² GFA m² GFA2011 40,000 0 0 40,0002012 8,000 0 8,000 16,0002013 23,000 0 0 23,0002014 73,500 7,000 43,000 123,5002015+ 13,200 152,700 300,800 466,700Total 117,700 159,700 351,800 669,200Figure 24. Current and future supply office districts in Utrecht (adapted from geografiek.nl)Leidsche Rijn CentrumLage WeideStationsgebiedOvervechtBinnenstadOostPapendorpKanaleneilandGalgenwaardRijnsweerdLunettenOudenrijnnew developmentsupply0 1 2 3 4 5 km26In spite of the high percentage of vacancy, stillnew plans are being developed. The plans for newdevelopment comprise 721,600 m² in total. This is asmuch as 28.3% of the total office supply in Utrecht(2,552,500 m²). Even with subtracting the plans whichare still uncertain, 327,300 m² of new developmentsremain, which is still 12,8% of the current stock.The development plans focuses in a few areas.Leidsche Rijn Centrum, as mentioned, is in total a newdevelopment area. The addition to the current stock isplanned in Papendorp, Stationsgebied, Galgenwaard,Oudenrijn and Kanaleneiland. New developmentsin Stationsgebied is perhaps least surprising sincevacancy rates are only 0.2%. Papendorp however hasa vacancy rate of 15.8% and has large developmentplans.As a response, the municipality has put a stop tosome of the development plans (Vastgoedmarkt,2011). Locations that are still up for development areStationsgebied, Leidsche Rijn Centrum and Papendorp.
  31. 31. Figure 25. Position Kanaleneiland in Utrecht (adapted from geografiek.nl)A27A2A2A12A12A28A27Leidsche Rijn CentrumLage WeideStationsgebiedOvervechtBinnenstadOostPapendorpKanaleneilandMerwedekwartierGalgenwaardRijnsweerdLunettenhighwaytrain stationA#0 1 2 3 4 5 kmOudenrijn272.4 KanaleneilandThe focus area for urban regeneration is the Merwede quarter, a part of Kanaleneiland. Kanaleneiland is officiallyan island located in the South West of Utrecht (see figure 25) and is surrounded by the ‘Amsterdam-Rijn Canal’and the ‘Merwede Canal’. Kanaleneiland is however considered smaller, located between these canals but limitedby the ‘Leidsche Rijn’ and the A12 highway. Kanaleneiland is positioned fairly centrally in Utrecht, North-East ofKanaleneiland is the inner city.The support for urban regeneration in this area can be considered quite large. This area has the highest amountof vacant square meters office space in the whole of Utrecht. Problems in this area are not only in terms ofoffice vacancy; the government pointed it out as one of the 40 areas in the Netherlands most desperately inneed of improvement on social, physical and economic level. Moreover, the position within the city has changeddrastically due to the growing of Utrecht over time. Support for improvement of the position of Kanaleneilandcan be expected from different angles. A step by step analysis of Kanaleneiland and the Merwede quarter isdescribed in chapter 7.2. Context
  32. 32. 28PartIIcausesofvacancy
  33. 33. Figure 26. Office space with vacancy in the Merwede quarter293. Theoretical frameworkTo efficiently provide solutions to the problem of vacancy, it is necessary to understand how vacancy occurs.This chapter outlines the theoretical framework that is related to the causes of office vacancy. The theoreticalframework forms the basis for the empirical chapter in this part of the thesis. Two sub questions that are beingaddressed in this chapter are: ““What is the assumed reciprocity between location characteristics and structuraloffice vacancy?” and “What location characteristics are generally believed to be related to the causes of officevacancy, and how can they be measured?”.3.The location of structurally vacant offices
  34. 34. Figure 27. Reasons for vacancyQualitativeQuantitativedemandsupplytimem²m²/employeetimequalitytimeABCSpatial fixRelocationQuality standardsBuilding qualitySurplusHog cycleUser demandsLocation qualitytimem²timem²303.1 MismatchA surplus in a market is not something new. There areseveral issues which can cause vacancy to rise and areall playing a role in current developments; these are(Hek et al., 2004):• Friction• Cycles• Quality standards• Changing user demands• Building quality• Location qualityWhen looking closely at these causes, they can becategorized in quantitative and qualitative aspectsand supplemented by two missing aspects; surplusproduction and spatial fix.QuantitativeA higher vacancy percentage than usual can beexplained by cyclical vacancy. The phenomenonof cyclical fluctuations of surpluses and deficits isdescribed by the ‘hog cycle’; new buildings are beingconstructed when demand is high due to deficits butwhen finished years later this suddenly large supplyleads to surpluses in the market. Demand thendeclines, leading to low construction activities, whichcreates deficits in the market. The cycle starts all overagain.Somewhat different than cyclical fluctuations is surplusproduction. In the last few decades, there has been asteady surplus of office production in the Netherlands.This surplus production comes in two forms, the firstbeing general surplus production in a geographicallydetermined market, for instance a country or a city.The second type of surplus production on a specificlocation, caused by the ‘spatial fix’ (Harvey, 2001),caused by difference in insights for geographic answersto demand in certain times. This phenomenon is widelyconfirmed in the Netherlands by the large differencesin vacancy within cities between one location andanother.There are also societal and economic changes thataffect the user demand. This is what is happeningcurrently because of the economic crisis. Worldwidechanges in the economy have largely influencedthe real estate market. In the Netherlands there arecurrently a little less than 2.3 million office jobs (DTZZadelhoff, 2011). This implies an average of about18 m² LFA office space per employee. Due to therecession, the amount of office jobs declined with 1.4%in 2009, leading to a declined demand for office space(ANP, 2010a). The decline of office jobs also leads toan increase of hidden vacancy, since offices are stillofficially rented but are not being used. Another large
  35. 35. Future supplyCurrent demandCurrent supplyAlternativesFuture matchStep by step planCurrent matchFuture demandFigure 28. DAS frame (adapted from De Jonge et al., 2009)31influence is the societal change of ´the new way of working´, which ensures that companies can cope with lessoffice space. Although no single definition of the new way of working is available, the most common definitionis enabling employees to work time and location independently. It is seen as a more efficient way of working; atlower costs and with higher yields and more enjoyable for employees. A Dutch national office market researchrevealed that 100% of office users expect that their company will use the same amount or less office space in thefuture (Twynstra Gudde, 2010). Reduction of office space between 30% and 50% can be achieved by reducingthe number of workstations (factor 1.1 to 0.7 per FTE on average) and reduction in storage space due to filedigitalisation (ING Economisch Bureau, 2011). Currently there is already more than 14% office vacancy in theNetherlands (DTZ Zadelhoff, 2012), but the ING outlines three scenarios in order to get an impression of whatthe effect of the new way of working on vacancy in the office market could be in 2030. The first scenario showsa decline of another 3 million m² office use only due to the rise in the ageing population. The second scenarioforesees 25% of the companies adapting the new way of working, resulting in a decrease of 10% office space inuse, bringing total vacancy to 10 million m²; 22% of the office space. The third scenario assumes that every officeorganization will implement the new way of working. This will result in an additional 16 million m² office vacancy,bringing the total to 22 million m², or 48% of the total office space.In what is considered a normal functioning market, a vacancy percentage of between 4 and 5% is necessary tooffer space for companies to move between buildings, which is called frictional vacancy (Hek et al., 2004). Thisvacancy ought to be occurring up to a maximum of one year after the expiry of the last rental agreement (Keerisand Koppels, 2006).QualitativeDue to all before mentioned aspects, the question of what buildings become vacant can be explained to a certaindegree by the quality of the building and the location.Because of technological developments, quality standards are bound to change. The demand changes along atthe same speed as the developments do, causing office users to raise their requirements over time. Old buildingscan therefore be obsolete in a short amount of time.If either the building or the location cannot meet the demands of office users, they will leave the buildingeventually in search of a building that better meets their requirements. Even though vacancy rates are this high,the problem is enlarged by new office space still being developed.DAS frameThe ‘DAS’ (Designing an Accommodation Strategy) framework has been designed to facilitate the accommodationstrategy design process (de Jonge et al., 2009). This framework (figure 28) shows how office user organizationsevaluate the current match between demand and supply and how to determine the future match. The process isiterative, when the match is not satisfying, other solutions can be searched for in the supply, or the demand canbe changed. This implies that when an office building is being used, it will only stay in use when the building keepsmeeting the demands of the office user and no better alternative is available.3. Theoretical framework
  36. 36. Figure 29. Schematic view mismatch demand and supplyFigure 30. Conceptual model macro levelDemandSupplycause• m²• m²• building• location• building• locationQuantitativeQualitativeVacancyQuantitativemismatchQualitativemismatchMarketBuilding - LocationQuantitativeHog cycleRelocationSurplusQualitativeSpatial fixQuality standardsUser demandsBuilding qualityLocation qualityQuantitativeQualitative32Space marketThis research focusses on the location (and building)characteristics of these existing buildings in order tounderstand which locations have increased odds tobecome vacant. Office vacancy is caused by a mismatchbetween demand and supply, both quantitatively asqualitatively. Quantitative mismatch is caused by themarket approached from a space market point of view;a geographically determined office space market. Inthis market, quantitative demand mainly derives fromoffice employment and the office user’s floor space-to-workers ratio (Muijderman, 2010). Next to the fact thatthere is a surplus in the market causing vacancy, thequalitative factors influence what buildings becomevacant. Qualitative mismatch is caused by building andlocation characteristics. As the schematic view of themismatch shows; there is a mismatch in the quantityof the buildings, the building itself and the location ofthe building, therefore the supply does not meet thedemand.Conceptual model macro levelThe conceptual model shows my perception of whyvacancy occurs at macro level at this moment. Thereis a mismatch between demand and supply, bothquantitatively and qualitatively. The supply is muchlarger than demand, which is a hard boundary. Thiscauses many square meters to become vacant. Whichsquare meters become vacant is mainly decided by thequalitative characteristics of the supply. Buildings thatdo not meet the demand building-wise and location-wise are the first to become vacant. The conceptualmodel shows this is not a hard boundary. There arealso buildings in use which do not (fully) meet thedemands of users. This is one of the main reasonswhy new buildings are still being developed. This canbe explained by the fact that 40% of vacant offices isobsolete and not properly to be used as an office anymore (Garschagen, 2008). Most of new build officesare rented from the start, future vacancy can thereforebe found mainly in currently existing stock (Kortewegin Garschagen, 2008). The development of new buildings can cause the existing buildings that do not meet theusers requirements to become vacant due to the continuous evaluation of the match between demand andsupply. Another reason for new development is that many land developments are already set in progress, whichinvolves binding contracts for development. Investment demands can also play a role, investors invest in realestate on large scale due to the expected greater profits than shares, which can lead to overinvestment.3.2 Location characteristicsMuch research has been performed considering which location factors increase risk on office vacancy. For thisresearch, the selection of other studies taken into account has been brought back to four, based on my perceptionof the significance of the studies. The graduation study of De Vrij (2004) is taken into account due to the basisthat it has established for the ‘conversion potential meter’. Geraedts and Van der Voordt (2004) have created aninstrument for defining the lower end of the office premises market in ‘Good buildings drive out bad buildings’,which is included in the selection. ‘Out of office’ is the PhD thesis of Remøy (2010) in which she studies, amongstother things, the cause of office vacancy. The final included research is the study of Hegeman (2011) which wasthe most recent study on the relation between a building and office users at the start of this research.
  37. 37. Table 8. Overview researchesResearchTransformatiepoten-tie: meten is wetenGood buildings driveout bad buildingsOut of Office De kantoorgebruikeren zijn pandCategory Factor De Vrij (2004) Geraedts and Vander Voordt (2004)Remøy (2010) Hegeman (2011)Accessibility Car x x x xAirport x xTrain x x x xMetro x x x xTram x x x xBus x x x xFacilities Catering x x x xEducation xGeneral xMedical xParking x x x xRecreation xShops x x x xSports xPublic space Furniture xGreen x x xPark x xPavement x xSquare x xStreet type xView x xWater xPrestige Filthiness xGraffiti xImage x x xSafety x x xUndesirables xVandalism xFunctionality Area x xFinance x xHousing x x x xEmployment x x xVacancy x xEnvironment Noise x x xOdour x x xShadow x xSoil xView xWind x33There are several ways of looking at a location. Table 8 gives an overview of what location factors these researchersconsidered during their study. To make them comparable, the definitions used by the researchers for the locationcategory and location factor are redefined.3. Theoretical framework
  38. 38. Figure 31. Conceptual model meso levelLocationFunctionalityPrestigePublic spaceFacilitiesAccessibilityEnvironmentBuildingCharacteristics34Cause meso levelThe categories from research form the input for theconceptual model on meso level (figure 31). It isassumed that depending on the outcome of thesesix categories, the location can have a match or amismatch between demand and supply.This table does not give an overview about themeasurement of a location factor. Even thoughresearchers may look at the same location factors,there are large differences between their definitions.For instance, while all researchers look at accessibilityby car, some might look at travel time, others at traveldistance, and even others at congestion or clearnessof the route. An overview of these measurements perresearch can be found in appendix III.In the next section the chosen factors will beelaborated upon. Location factors which have beenproven to be significantly correlated with structuraloffice vacancy or that are used by more than half theamount of researchers are taken into account. How tomeasure them is elaborated upon. Other factors arealso introduced based on new insights or theory.3.2.1 AccessibilityThere is much consensus about what factors to studyin terms of accessibility. All researchers clearly indicateaccessibility as an important and elaborated category.Accessibility factors included in the research• Car• Train• Tram• Bus• Modality• City centreCar, airport, train, metro, tram and busAll the researchers (De Vrij, 2004, Hegeman, 2011, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004, Remøy, 2010) takeaccessibility by car, train, tram and bus into account. A way of making a clear distinction between these typesof transport is by categorizing them by their reach; international, inter-urban and intra-urban. Internationalaccessibility is provided by airplane. There are only two researchers looking at accessibility of the airport. Sincethe nearest international airport is Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, which is almost 50 kilometres away fromUtrecht, the difference in travel time to the airport shall not differ very much from one location to the other.Therefore this is not a relevant fact for the research and will not be taken into account. Inter-urban accessibilityis formed by transport between cities; which included car and train transport and could possible include metroand tram. Accessibility by metro is also being investigated by many researchers, however since there is no metroline available in Utrecht, this factor will not be taken into account. There is a tramline available in Utrecht, whichfunctions as a fast connection between Utrecht and Nieuwegein, therefore it is included in the research as inter-urban transport. The final category is intra-urban transport, consisting of only the bus.The methods to measure these factors differ between researchers. What is actually measured is the relative andthe absolute distance. Relative distance is measured by the time it takes to travel from A to B. Absolute distanceis measured as the crow flies. The preferred method would be to use relative distance, estimating the travel timetaking into account congestion, which occurs often around offices at peak hours. Due to the unavailability ofthe maximum speed limits and congestion in a database, this is not possible. Absolute distance is not accurateenough, since as the crow flies is not a realistic definition of the route that has to be taken in a city. As analternative, the travel distance is measured, operationalized by the actual route in meter between point A and B.
  39. 39. Figure 32. Modality (Goudappel Coffeng DTZ, 2011)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BunnikHoutenVleutenMaarssenBreukelenBilthovenUtrecht ZuilenHouten CastellumUtrecht TerwijdeUtrecht LunettenUtrecht OvervechtHollandsche RadingUtrecht Leidsche RijnUtrecht Vaartsche RijnBest bereikbare gebieden per vervoerwijzeall other values1221adddsafdsfsdZwaanshoekZwaanshoekN205 LisseN208 Lisse-Figure 33. Fragment of three order analysis of Haarlem (deBois, 2010)35ModalityGoudappel Coffeng developed an accessibility map ofUtrecht together with DTZ (Goudappel Coffeng andDTZ, 2011). For this they calculated for every postalcode area within the region of Utrecht, how manypeople can access the locations within an acceptabletravelling time. This is done for every modality, wheretravel time by car is acceptable within 45 minutes,travelling time by public transport is 30 minutes andtravel time by bicycle is 20 minutes. This generatesa score for every location, which can be understoodas a score for labour accessibility. The map (figure32) shows the location and the type(s) of transportby which they are best accessible. They define a linkbetween modality and office vacancy. Modality istaken into account for the research. There are sevenpredefined categories; (1) car, (2) public transport, (3)bicycle, (4) car/public transport, (5) car/bicycle, (6)public transport/bicycle and (7) car/public transport/bicycle.City centrePeter de Bois developed a method to test thecohesion of the network of the city based on cognitivepsychology, the ability to understand the city network(De Bois, 2011). This method, the three ordermethod, talks about anchor points; important areasor destinations in the city (usually the city centre),and their connection to the rest of the city withinthree steps or orders. Each step represents a changein direction. The connections are expressed in thefit between anchor points and patterns. The authorstates that if the cohesion requires more than 3 orders,this suggest a poor condition for social economicinvestments. “The essence of a vital city is the fitbetween the system of travelling and staying, betweenthe physical system which due to its cohesion acts asa good urban frame, and the economic system whichdue to its vitality acts as a good system of anchor pointsand patterns. It offers the possibility to identify areas,linked to individual and collective circuits, and outlinethe framework for social cohesion and urban quality” (De Bois, 2011). This method suggests that the better theframe the city, the better that city will be used. The method is applied as follows. First an area as starting pointhas to be defined, of which the cohesion is to be analysed. The other areas that need to be defined are theanchor points, the important areas or destinations. Then the three orders can be distinguished. To the first orderbelong the main roads that cross or touch the starting area. To the second order belong the roads that connectwith the first order roads. To the third order belong the roads that connect with the second order roads. Whenthe destination area, the anchor points, are connected to the circuit within this three orders, this means thatthe frame of the city facilitates these destination areas well. The example in figure 33 shows part of a researchconducted in Haarlem. Here the eastern city limit is taken as starting point (the red line). The first order is drawnwith a black continuous line, the second order with a black dotted line. The anchor points are the coloured dots.The image shows how the city limit is connected to the anchor points of the city within two orders.As De Bois links economic investments to these three orders, this is incorporated in the research. In a recent studyDTZ states that cities with a historic city centre have higher odds not to become vacant (DTZ Zadelhoff, 2013). Thefactor is measured by the connectivity of the urban fabric to the historic centre, which is the main destination.There are two possible outcomes; (1) accessible within three orders and (2) not accessible within three orders.3. Theoretical framework
  40. 40. verhouding parkeren =verhuurbaar vloeroppervlakaantal parkeerplaatsenFigure 34. Parking measurement ratio363.2.2 FacilitiesFrom the eight facility factors which are being measured by researchers, three are being measured by more thanhalf. These are parking facilities, catering facilities and shops.Facility factors included in the research• Parking• Catering• ShopsParkingParking facilities are measured by all researchers (DeVrij, 2004, Hegeman, 2011, Geraedts and Van derVoordt, 2004, Remøy, 2010). The ratio between parkingspace and office space gives an indication of how wellcar parking is being facilitated, which is a method usedin most research. Therefore the ratio LFA/parking placeis measured. Another proven method of measuringparking is by making a distinction between on- andoff-site parking, and parking on street level or stackedparking (Cutter and DeWoody, 2010). From theoryone would expect that offices with on-site parking arestructurally vacant more often than offices with off-site parking. This is what is stated in the investigationof Cutter and DeWoody (2010) who state that nearbyoff-site parking is positively associated with propertyprices.Catering, shopsCatering and shop facilities, measured in all of the studies (De Vrij, 2004, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004,Hegeman, 2011, Remøy, 2010) can also be defined as worker amenities. These facilities are available in adatabase by Locatus. This database has not been made available for the research, instead Locatus researchedthe catering and shopping facilities within a distance of 500 meter for all of the office buildings in the dataset.Locatus measures these by the as the crow flies-method or absolute distance. The facilities measured in thecategory catering are: cafés, restaurants and café-restaurants. The facilities measured in shops are shops fordaily necessities: supermarkets and minimarkets. The distance of 500 meter is taken for this is assumed to be themaximum distance people are willing to walk.3.2.3 Public spaceAlthough in all of the four studies (Hegeman, 2011, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004, Remøy, 2010, De Vrij,2004) a category of public space is incorporated, only one the location factors is used by more than half theresearchers. This indicates that the general opinion is that public space has influence on the well-functioningof an area, but that it is unclear what is important about that public space. The amount of square meter publicgreen, used by three researchers (Hegeman, 2011, Remøy, 2010, De Vrij, 2004), can give an indication of how wellpublic space is provided for and will be incorporated in the research. This does however leave out paved publicspace. Therefore other factors are introduced in this category.Public space factors• Green• Type of public space• Assessment public spaceo Protectiono Comforto Enjoyment
  41. 41. Figure 35. Types of space (adapted from Gehl, 2006)Urban stroll waysTransport hubsLocal city spaceStaged city spaceCeremonial city spaceAquatic city spaceSpace for play and sportMain city spaceGreen city spaceSecluded city spaceTemporary city spaceDeserted city spaceWaterfront city space37GreenPublic green is reported in WistUdata (GemeenteUtrecht, 2012c) and is measured by the amountof square meter within the areas as defined by themunicipality.Type of public spaceIt is possible to make subdivisions in public space bytheir type. ‘New city life’ (Gehl, 2006) talks aboutthirteen types of (public) space, in which the publicspace within a visible distance is categorized.• (1) Urban stroll waysBoulevards, avenues, streets and byways wheredirectional movement is the key.• (2) Main city spaceThe main squares of the city or district, space thatframes many different events.• (3) Local city spaceSpace that primarily serves local users andincorporates playing and staying.• (4) Secluded city spaceLocation and design offer fewer options, simplefurniture for staying perhaps.• (5) Ceremonial city spaceOften a formal forecourt for seats of power, spaceused for celebrations, ceremonies and cheeringcrowds.• (6) Deserted city spaceSpace featuring large surfaces with few activitiesand buildings with few entrances.• (7) Transport hubsSpace dominated by people in transit, going abouttheir daily activities and errands.• (8) Green city spaceCity parks and urban oases, a framework forrecreation from sunbathing to sport.• (9) Staged city spaceSpace with carefully planned design elements tocreate special, primarily sensory experiences.• (10) Temporary city spaceSpace intended for temporary use, often on landplanned for other purposes.• (11) Aquatic city spaceWith water the dominant surface, this space oftencreates identity in the city scene and offers variousactivities on and in the water.• (12) Waterfront city spaceAccess to and view of the water give these spacesadded value and a myriad of possible activities.• (13) City space for play and sportDesigned for activities that require permanentspecialized equipment.3. Theoretical framework
  42. 42. trafficwalk stand sitsee talk playscale climatecrimesensoryexperiencessensoryexperiencesGoodAveragePoorprotectionenjoymentcomfortFigure 36. Quality criteria (adapted from Gehl, 2006)38Assessment public spaceGehl also gives some interesting perspectives ofwhat three categories to look at when looking at theenvironment; protection, comfort and enjoyment(Gehl, 2006). The urban space can be rated for theability to provide protection within three categories;(1) traffic, (2) crime and (3) sensory experiences. Theurban space can be rated for the ability to providecomfort within six categories; (1) walk, (2) stand, (3)sit, (4) see, (5) talk and (6) play. The urban space canbe rated for the ability to provide enjoyment withinthree categories; (1) scale, (2) climate and (3) sensoryexperiences.This method offers the option to rate public spaceelements as (1) poor, (2) average and (3) good, givinga total score of between 3-9 points for protection,between 6-18 points for comfort and between 3-9points for enjoyment. The public space total is a scorebetween 12 and 36 points. The absence of some of these elements could lead to not meeting the demands ofoffice users, therefore leading to higher vacancy. Public space within visible distance is assessed on these factors.3.2.4 PrestigeSince all four researchers (De Vrij, 2004, Hegeman, 2011, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004, Remøy, 2010)mention prestige in their research, factors of prestige will be incorporated and tested in the research. Sinceprestige is difficult to operationalize, some proxies for prestige are taken into account. Prestige has two factorswhich are being used by more than half the researchers, which are image and safety.Prestige factors included in the research• Image rating• Safety• Vandalism• Criminality• Traffic problems• Public space problems• LiveabilityImage ratingThe image is monitored by the municipality of Utrecht (Gemeente Utrecht, 2012c) by calculating the averagegrade on a scale from zero to ten given by the inhabitants to their sub district. This factor comes closest tomeasuring prestige, in contrast to the other factors which are proxies for prestige. This factor is studied in threeof the studies (De Vrij, 2004, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004, Hegeman, 2011)Safety, vandalism, criminalityThere is an objective and subjective side to safety. Figures on objective safety include number of offenses,vandalism and victims. Subjective safety is about the feeling of security. Both types can go hand in hand, butnot necessarily. People may feel perfectly safe in a neighbourhood where other people might not dare to go. Afeeling of safety can be increased by the familiarity of a neighbourhood (Ouwehand et al., 2008). The data fromthe municipality (Gemeente Utrecht, 2012c) is obtained. Safety is investigated in three of the four studies (DeVrij, 2004, Hegeman, 2011, Remøy, 2010). Safety is measured by the percentage of respondents that feel unsafeoften in their sub district. Vandalism and criminality are both measured by the permillage of registered incidentsper 1,000 inhabitants plus employees.Traffic problems, public space problemsAnother indicator could be the problems that arises in areas. Instead of measuring accessibility by car and thequality of the public space, figures from the municipality (Gemeente Utrecht, 2012c) are used to indicate theopinion about these matters, measured by the percentage of respondents that indicate problems in their area.
  43. 43. Figure 37. Liveability in Utrecht (RIGO, 2012)39LiveabilityRIGO developed maps which show the liveability for allliving environments within the Netherlands, called the‘Leefbaarometer’ (RIGO Research en Advies, 2012).This tool predicts the satisfaction of inhabitants inrelation to their direct living environment. The samesatisfaction could apply to the office users in theseareas. The possible scores are: (1) very negative, (2)negative, (3) moderate, (4) moderately positive, (5)positive, (6) very positive and (7) excellent.3.2.5 FunctionalityThere are two location factors that are beingresearched by at least half the researchers. These arehousing (De Vrij, 2004, Hegeman, 2011, Geraedts andVan der Voordt, 2004, Remøy, 2010) and employment(Hegeman, 2011, Geraedts and Van der Voordt, 2004,Remøy, 2010). Other ways of defining the functionalityof an area can be described as the type of officelocation and the mix of functions.Functionality factors included in the research• Housing• Employment• Type of location• Mix of functionsHousingFunctionality talks about the different kinds of functions in an area, specifically housing and offices, and theamount of square meters assigned to these functions. The available data from the municipality (GemeenteUtrecht, 2012c) is about housing; the average size in square meter per dwelling in the area and the total amountof dwellings in an area.EmploymentEmployment talks about employment in an area; the amount of jobs or more specifically the amount of officejobs. In this research employment is measured by the total number of jobs in an area (Gemeente Utrecht, 2012c),due to the unavailability of specifically the amount of office jobs.Type of locationOne method of looking at the location is to define types of locations focusing on the context. The Dutch firmArchitekten Cie distinguishes six different types of office locations (de Architekten Cie, 2007);(1) HistoricalHistoric buildings of modest scale in mixed centre environments, usually positioned on canals. Usuallyappointed monument and part of a conservation area. Building period between 1900-1920.(2) Pre modernFirst buildings of larger size and new construction methods. Mostly related to historical centre environments.Often built in locations where 18th and 19th century building blocks are demolished, for example for trafficbreakthroughs in the 30s and 40s. Building period between 1920-1940.(3) Businesses/officesFirst city expansion according to the functionalist urbanism. Autonomous work areas near the city, accessiblefrom by and constricted in green areas. Classification of businesses and offices. Building period between1940-1960.3. Theoretical framework

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