Urban production

Against the background of a steady growth of urban population, as well as an ongoing concentration of economic activity in cities, the production processes taking place and (trans)forming the urban spaces is a key aspect to be taken into consideration in order to study contemporary urban development.

Urban production

The processes of urban production in itself are manifold. The research projects initiated within the Metrolab take entirely into account this diversity while examining it from an interdisciplinary perspective.

First of all, from a very general point of view, urban production is about the way urban forms are generated by actions and interactions of particular individuals and/or private and public institutions, but also about the (political, economic…) factors which constrain or empower intervention in the production process. Questioning theses processes also means to analyse the ways urban land and buildings are subjected to competing or complementary uses (residential, commercial, recreational, transport…), and to scrutinise the outcomes of this production processes: the structure of urban fabric as such, both from a physical and social point of view.

Secondly, Metrolab will examine and discuss the place of material production in the city, be it the production of manufactured or agricultural goods or the building sector as such. New forms of sustainable production such as urban farming, small-scale industrial production, energy-efficient buildings and urban craftsmanship will inevitably be addressed. This also links to reflections on energy and transport networks, recycling supply chains and urban food supply systems.

Lastly, the ongoing development of cultural and creative industries (performing and visual arts, design, publishing, advertising, ICT) in cities needs to be considered as an additional and specific contribution to urban production: the cultural and creative sector does not only involve the use of various knowledge-based production technologies, but it is also considered as a potential driver for urban development (not to say regeneration) due to the supposed spill-over effects on the wider economy. Considering the city as a creative factory thus means to examine it in relation to changing public policies, marketing strategies and to evaluate its impact on the socio-spatial structure of the city. 

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