cities of making


JPI Urban Europe-funded project (2017-2020)
Postdoctoral researcher, TU Delft
Project partners: BECI, Latitude, TU Delft, RSA, ULB, VUB



Cities of Making: Resources for Activating New Urban Industry Through Technology, Spatial Design and Transition Governance (ERA-NET Co-fund Smart Urban Futures programme funcaded project) explored 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 has used a combination of strategic and action research resulting in the development of a co-creation instrument, a pattern language, for the use of public officials, designers, and entrepreneurs. Our ambition was 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’ve touched include:
  • 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?

We’ve learnt from experiences in London, Rotterdam and Brussels – each with a distinct industrial heritage. Through this project we have developed typologies, practices and policies focusing on public and private stakeholders to breathe new life into their manufacturing communities.

The project brought together a dynamic, multidisciplinary team from Brussels (BECI, Latitude, ULB and the VUB), London (UCL and the RSA) and Rotterdam (TU Delft) – each contributing to a breadth of competencies in resource and technology, industrial ecology, circular economy, urban planning, governance, strategy, social dynamics and more.

TU Delft research unit: Prof. Han Meyer, Birgit Hausleitner, and Victor Muñoz Sanz.


Related publications:

Croxford, B.,  Domenech, T., Hausleitner, B.,  Hill, A.V., Meyer, H. Orban, A., Muñoz Sanz, V. & Vanin, F. (2020), “Three Pathways to Support Urban Manufacturing” in: Hill, Adrian V ed. Foundries of the Future: a Guide to 21st Century Cities of Making.  Delft: TU Delft Open, pp. 67-100. ︎︎︎︎

Croxford, B.,  Domenech, T., Hausleitner, B.,  Hill, A.V., Meyer, H. Orban, A., Muñoz Sanz, V. & Vanin, F. (2020), “A Pattern Language” in: Hill, Adrian V ed. Foundries of the Future: a Guide to 21st Century Cities of Making.  Delft: TU Delft Open, pp. 103-207.︎︎︎︎

Croxford, B.,  Domenech, T., Hausleitner, B.,  Hill, A.V., Meyer, H. Orban, A., Muñoz Sanz, V. & Vanin, F. (2020), “A Manifesto for 21st Century Manufacturing” in: Hill, A. V. ed. Foundries of the Future: a Guide to 21st Century Cities of Making.  Delft: TU Delft Open, pp. 233-241.︎︎︎︎

Muñoz Sanz, V., Hausleitner, B., Klapwijk, A., Meyer, H. (2018), “Rotterdam The Hague, NL,” in: Cities Report (technical report released by “Cities of Making,” project funded by Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe - ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures), May 2018. pp. 133-183. ︎︎︎︎

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