The Oberi Ebni commercial zone in Bremgarten is designated as a development site of regional significance in the Aargau Cantonal Development Plan. In light of this status, the canton and the municipality of Bremgarten commissioned EBP to draft a strategic plan for the site’s development.
Enabling value-added economic development
In response to the submission of separate development plans for various parts of the Oberi Ebni commercial zone in Bremgarten, representatives of the municipality of Bremgarten and the Canton of Aargau called for the drafting of a common development plan for the entire commercial zone. The aim of this proposal was to enable value-added economic development in line with the commercial zone’s potential and the expectations of the private and public-sector stakeholders. In addition to attracting business investments that would lead to job creation for highly skilled workers, the development plan was also to make provision for employment opportunities for less qualified individuals.
Analysis of the site’s development potential
We approached our assignment by first identifying the commercial zone’s specific characteristics and assessing its potential for playing a key role in regional development, including any constraints. Our results showed that both the zone’s large undeveloped spaces and its smaller developed but underutilized properties offered exceptional development potential.
The right positioning
We used the site analysis as a basis for defining various development scenarios for the Oberi Ebni zone and assigning target markets, site specifications, opportunities and risks to each scenario. In light of the size of the commercial zone, we also identified a number of combination scenarios featuring elements drawn from our various initial scenarios. The main purpose of the scenarios was not to identify specific sectors or industries warranting promotion, but to illustrate the function of the commercial zone in the region. The overarching aim of our planning efforts was to sketch a plan for transforming the Oberi Ebni zone into a regional hub for industry and commerce, a hub offering value-added employment opportunities of the sort that would attract workers and investors from throughout Switzerland.
Recommendations and quick wins
We issued specific recommendations for implementing the development strategy both at the level of the commercial zone as a whole and at the level of individual subzones. In order to jump start the site’s development, we also made a number recommendations for quick wins, including the introduction of an integrated site orientation concept and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access. The development strategy also includes a proposed organizational structure for the implementation phase.