Cities of Making

Cities of Making (CoM) explores the future of urban based manufacturing in European cities in terms of technology, resources, place and application.

Following years of decline and offshoring, European cities are being confronted by a range of issues simultaneously: firstly, manufacturing jobs have shifted quickly to services and have created large gaps in the employment market, concepts such as circular economy are being taken seriously by cities and finally new technology is emerging allowing industry to be quieter and more discrete. 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.
Cities of Making uses a combination of strategic and action research resulting in concrete projects. The ambition is to identify what works in supporting a resilient and innovative industrial base and to test those solutions in a real-world setting. The biggest questions we’re addressing are: What technology/resources are suitable for 21st century urban industry? Where can it be located in the city in terms of planning and spatial constraints? How can we leverage the change? The project brings together a dynamic, multidisciplinary team from Brussels (BECI, Latitude, ULB and the VUB), London (UCL and the RSA) and Rotterdam (TU Delft) – which include a breadth of competencies in resource and technology, industrial ecology, circular economy, urban planning, governance, strategy, social dynamics and more.
Cities of Making takes from experiences in the three cities, each with a distinct industrial heritage, aiming at developing typologies, practices and policies focusing on public and private stakeholders to breathe new life into their manufacturing communities.