The Vertical Urban Factory as a Concept for Mixed Use in Future Cities

Haselsteiner, Edeltraud and Gron, Lisa-Maria and Frey, Harald and Madner, Verena and Laa, Barbara and Schwaigerlehner, Katja (2020) The Vertical Urban Factory as a Concept for Mixed Use in Future Cities. SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 873-881. ISSN 2521-3938

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In many European cities, production in backyards and inner city multi-storey buildings had been part of the cityscape since industrialisation. However, since then, such production spaces have continued to move to greenfield sites and have thereby created monofunctional industrial areas in the periphery. While the drivers for this ‘spatial decoupling’ are manifold (e.g. economies of scale, mass motorization, land prices, regulatory restrictions), strategies to influence and counteract segregation remain scarce. Mixing residential and working areas contributes significantly to energy-efficient urban development and the achievement of ambitious smart city goals and a lively urban fabric. While the digital transformation of industrial production (‘Industry 4.0’) seems to prepare the return of urban industry to mixed-use neighbourhoods, there are still considerable obstacles. Concepts to make production in the city attractive again for companies are currently still the exception. Nonetheless there are approaches in European cities: Berlin adopted a masterplan (‘Masterplan Industriestadt Berlin 2018-2021’) to improve the framework conditions for industrial companies. The ‘Regional Sustainable Development Plan’ of the city of Brussels provides support for urban production by planning instruments, such as ‘ZEMU’ zones; these zones enable a more intensive and mixed-use of industrial land. The spatial development strategy in London, known as ‘the London Plan’, contains provision for the protection of industrial land within the city. Against this background, our research project ‘Vertical Urban Factory’ analyses architectural, legal and transportation parameters for mixing working and residential areas in cities. For the project, we build on the concept of vertical urban factories and explore the potentials of reintegrating multi-storey production in European cities. In doing so, we use Vienna as an example of a typical European city which has recently developed a planning strategy for the ‘Productive City’. Based on results from basic scientific research, case studies, best practice examples and numerous interviews with companies, we ultimately develop five innovative, city-compatible and vertically organized building prototypes of ‘vertical urban factories’. These consider the existing urban structure, legal restrictions, global and local objectives, production needs and urban freight logistics. In the present paper, we will give an overview of key results from our project. In doing so, we will introduce essential aspects and characteristics of a ‘productive city’. Based on this understanding, we will first discuss architectural parameters and transportation aspects of reintegrating production in cities illustrated by three prototypes. Then, we will engage with legal approaches (e.g. financial incentives, spatial planning instruments) and their framework conditions relevant for enabling production in the city.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mixed-use, urban factory, productive city, urban production, regional planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 13:11
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 13:11

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