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How to Reintroduce the Productive Economy into New Urban Districts?

Many formerly industrial places in and around cities are now out of use. Buildings were left in a derelict state, activities have been moved or stopped, sites became brownfields. Obsolescence is the common feature of these sites and the future is uncertain. Mostly, we dream of turning them into new vibrant urban quarters. But to avoid total gentrification as it has appeared many urban renewal projects in the past, we should perhaps try to put some productive activity in these sites… again? Because these sites were once industrial and linked to the city. Because there is a will for a really mixed city, and that mix includes productive economy as well.

How to Create Vibrant Productive Districts with Craftmen, Makers & Local Production?

Every city would like to be diversified. Yet standard approaches to create “vibrant communities” summon an imagery of housing, offices, cafés and restaurants. But, is that enough? Shouldn’t we also instil liveliness in an existing neighbourhood by fostering productive activities? Could this option also be viable in the case of bedroom communities? What does production mean for creative- and knowledge-based industries? What economic balance is necessary to retain productive activities as the area improves and prices rise?

How Can New Mobility Conditions Encourage Hybridization Between City & Production?

Infrastructures are crucial actors to introduce a dynamic economy in the city. But they have most often been introduced against the city itself – motorways, parking lots, intermodal areas act as gaps and reinforce urban fragmentation.
New city visions on a soft mobility model offer new opportunities to reconsider those infrastructures for adaptation. But how can we make sure this leads to a more sustainable urban life and the hybridisation of programs including productive activities? How to reinforce infrastructures as a fertile ground for a productive city? Could downgraded roads become productive streets? Could obsolete parking areas turn into productive places? Could updated intermodal nodes generate productive hubs? And which space strategies could arise from these scenarios?

What kind of Urbanity for the Logistics & Industrial Areas?

The contemporary city is divided between very active big box urbanism linked to all metropolitan networks and light industrial sites adjacent to city centres. They operate in isolation to their adjacent areas with mono-rhythmic uses.
The challenge is to inject new economies that would generate synergies between uses, but also porosities resulting into poly-rhythmic urban milieu. How to develop common shared spaces between users of diverse activities as well as with the inhabitants of the surrounding areas?