Productive Cities?


Different Viewpoints from Europan 14 Actors

During the E13/E14 Inter-Sessions Forum held in Badajoz (ES) last Oct. 2016, experts and city representatives debated on the subjet of "Productive Cities", and different interpretations and representations arose. Still, if the issue is to make the city compatible with industrial, agricutlural and/or handcraft activities, it is also about making new forms of production emerge at the very heart of the city. These forms are linked to new technologies, to the association of research and production, or to the invention of innovative services…

Hereafter, some exerpts of the debate, reflecting the viewpoints of differents actors involved in Europan 14:

María Ángeles López Amado, General Director of Architecture, Junta de Extremadura (ES)
"Extremadura is a very large productive territory that is rural, with approx. 75% of villages of less than 2,000 inhabitants. Our productive city is therefore a small village - yet a village that could act as seeds to be able to study those new productive uses. Thanks to this, our region could become a place where people come back."

Jean-Etienne Surlève Bazeille, Responsible of Urban Planning, Bègles (FR)
"When people talk about industry, they usually say "oh no, I don't want that in my city, it's dirty, it stinks, it makes noise… not in my backyard! But if we want Bègles to become an entrance to the Bordeaux Metropolis, we should propose beautiful housing with large terrasses in front of this beautiful landscape constituted by the Garonne river, and then maybe –as people have a nice place to live– they will accept the industrial activities."

Jaume Barnada, Direcció d'Estratègia i Cultura de Sosteniblilitat, Ecologia Urbana, Barcelona (ES)
"The city is a mix of density, compactness and diversity. And this is where the activity is produced. But which fields to produce in a city centre? In Barcelona, that would be the small industry –which already exist and perfectly works; the services, as we are a big capital; the knowledge and everything it produces; of course there could not be a car production plant in the heart of the city, but there could be an office that designs cars. And the last element, which has always been there, is craftsmanship and small activities that cities have always had. The main debate is the one about how the uses of the economic activities gather within the city; how can we make them compatible between themselves. And finally, how to introduce housing in the productive territories?"

Alain Maugard, President Europan France (FR)
"In the production of the city, there is not only industrial good; there is also what one may call the "new craftmanship", that is to say the industrial craftmanship, with 3D-printing systems and so on. And if a city produces services, then it's Production as well. There is also energy – whether a city produces part of its energy or not. A city produces waste, and if it recycles it, then waste become a ressource. Circular economy is also part of the issue of Productive Cities. What we propose to explore with Europan 14, it is a change of society - the city should be a production place."

The debate will soon be published on