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Cities of Making
The delocalisation of manufacturing activities has pushed manual jobs, technical knowledge and industrial innovation capacity out of European cities. Outsourcing manufacturing out of city centres, and Europe generally, has externalised environmental issues while contributing emissions from transportation. As a response to the economic and environmental challenges, political discourse has called for an ‘Industrial Renaissance’ (EC 2014) and endorsed re-industrialisation initiatives such as the Circular Economy Package and Industry 4.0. This may offer a raft of potential benefits, including jobs for sociodemographic groups most affected by unemployment, innovation, more efficient use of materials and urban resilience. Urban centres play an important role in nurturing new forms of green urban manufacturing, based on a clean, knowledge- and labour-intensive manufacturing sector. Re-industrialisation_is a complex challenge in terms of adaptation of urban areas and the public services that can support it. This project will close this critical knowledge gap by combining complementary research on a) relevant new smart technologies, b) physical environments for urban making and c) how public services and other relevant stakeholders can engage in transition strategies. This will be achieved through applied research and case studies in Brussels, London and Rotterdam. The outcome will provide practical guidelines and resources for public service professionals, aiming to position public services at the centre of re-industrialisation, grounded in academic research and best practices while equipping them with practical and cost-effective tools that can be deployed to revitalise their industrial bases. Such results will be as relevant to private actors that are taking a collaborative, cross-disciplinary and/or place based approach.
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