I Industrial Parks Planning, Design and Development in the 21st Century






Industrial parks (IPs) and special economic zones (SEZs) are increasingly seen as powerful tools towards reaching the sustainable development goals. While the potential benefits that industrial parks and SEZs can deliver are well understood, these benefits can only be materialized if the IPs and SEZs at question are set up with a clear strategic objective in mind.

Empirical evidence shows that many IPs and SEZs around the world are not able to fully deliver on their potential. A clearly developed strategy can help to ensure the success of an industrial park program, maximize its development contribution and to guide effective stakeholder integration.


Upon successful completion of the programme, participants should be able to:

  • Provide a background on the topic and clarify key concepts and terminology;

  • Clarify economic development and sustainability objectives and policy goals that can be achieved using industrial parks instruments;

  • Explain key strategic considerations such as location selection and choice of target industries';

  • Introduce key aspects of policy design and legislation related to industrial parks;

  • Describe different options for financing the development of industrial parks; and

  • Explain principles of efficient project management and stakeholder engagement for initiating an industrial park development.

Course Methodology:

This programme follows a learner-centered design and is aimed to provide learners with practical hands-on know-how that they can use in their day-to-day functions. To achieve this goal, the course will be delivered by combining theoretical learning with practical real-world examples. The course combines different types of learning materials including text segments, videos, practical exercises, gamification and multiple-choice quizzes.

The course is designed in a self-paced learning path delivered entirely online complemented by online lectures by invited guest speakers. After registration, participants can start and complete modules and activities at their own pace. The e-learning platform tracks the completion of individual modules. A final certificate will be given to participants completing all modules in the learning path.

The programme is delivered through UNIDO’s Industrial Parks Platform (IPP). By completing the learning path, participants will have access to an exclusive alumni network for continuous learning and exchange.

Course Contents:

The UNIDO e-learning course “Initiating strategic industrial park development for sustainable development” includes the following modules:

Module 1: The rationale and business case for the development of industrial parks.

Module 2: Understanding different typologies and categories of industrial parks.

Module 3: Conducting pre-feasibility studies. 

Module 4: Selecting optimal location and site for industrial parks development.

Module 5: Identifying target sectors and target groups.

Module 6: Benchmarking and building competitive advantage.

Module 7: Policy design and legal framework.

Module 8: Financing industrial parks development.

Module 9: Stakeholder engagement and overall project management.

Module 10: Summary: Key success factors.

Target Audience:

The primary target audience for the e-learning course are policy makers, government officials, and professionals working in developing countries on the planning, implementation or operation of IPs or SEZs either within the government or within IPs or SEZ operating companies themselves.

This course is for you if you want to:

  • Learn how to initiate new industrial park or SEZ developments: This course will provide you with the tools for initiating a new industrial park or SEZ.
  • Learn how to tailor industrial park or SEZ location, policy, and wider strategy to your target groups: By applying the tools and know-how learned in this course you can develop a tailored strategy for IP or SEZ development including selecting the right locations and drafting the right policy framework according to your targets and goals.
  • Develop industrial parks and zones with competitive advantages: You will learn how to benchmark your planned industrial park or SEZ against competitors and which strategic decisions can help you to build a competitive advantage.


Participants need to complete all modules, pass the marked evaluations at the end of each module as well as the final evaluation at the end of the course in order to be awarded a certificate.

Course Duration:

Each module is estimated to require approximately three to four hours of study time to complete at your own pace.

Useful information:

Participants who wish to attend the e-learning course without being awarded a certificate can still do so. Please note that this course will not provide ECTS credits.




Industrial parks

Contact us

UNIDO cross-disciplinary team on industrial parks (CDTIP)

Vienna International Centre




Follow us