Brussels, a city of making

Brussels, a city of making

This film provides an insight into four manufacturers in Brussels covering both foundational activities and forms of manufacturing that require to be in or near the city.  The film aims to present some of the common trends and challenges, while exposing some of the contradictions between manufacturers.  While the film…

Cantillon

Cantillon

Cantillon is a brewery located in the heart of Brussels, a few steps from the main train station – Gare du Midi.  The brewery produces Gueuze beer which has a peculiar ‘spontaneously fermented’ process based on ancient brewing methods that were once typical for the surrounding Senne Valley.   It…

BIGH

BIGH

BIGH, the acronym for Brussels Integrated Green Houses, is a pioneering urban agriculture business, located on the roof of the retail section of the city’s abattoir.  The business uses a closed loop system within the spirit of cradle to cradle and the circular economy that takes advantage of wasted heat…

CF2D

CF2D

CF2D is located along Brussels’ canal district, within an ERDF (European Regional Development Funds) funded complex oriented towards waste management.  The non-profit organisation is focused on repurposing or at least selectively dismantling and sorting electronic waste.  This provides relatively ‘low-value’ financial returns but is of great value for cities that…

Loewenstein Machines

Loewenstein Machines

Lowestein is located on the south of Brussels, one of only a handful of repair businesses in Belgium.  They provide an essential service by keeping machines moving and working.  However it is not the most attractive job and there are questions of how this business may be carried down to…

Screen Group

Screen Group

Screen Group is located in the south of Brussels and focuses on printing posters and large prints.  This is increasingly a smaller market. There is constant pressure to invest in new technology to bridge the gap.  This film looks at how a business stays afloat despite newer and bigger businesses…

Save the date: Making Cities Work! 6-11 September 2019

Save the date: Making Cities Work! 6-11 September 2019

Cities of Making has partnered with Cosmopolis and Building Brussels to host ‘Making Cities Work’, a series of events, from 6-11 September 2019, aimed at contributing to new ways of thinking about the urban economy. How can alliances of policy makers, citizens, entrepreneurs and civil society organisations contribute to a…

A vision for urban manufacturing

A vision for urban manufacturing

This presentation was first made, and here filmed, at the Urban Manufacturing Next forum at the Maker City Sewoon in Seoul (KR) in May 2019 – read more about the event here.  The presentation was built on a vision text written by Josie Warden (The RSA) and forms the basis…

Pragma Plexi / Treize

Pragma Plexi / Treize

While Perma Plexi has a major challenge – finding enthusiastic staff that have experience working with plastic.  It is a business that proves that while accessible work exists in manufacturing within cities, there is a fundamental recruitment challenge to find people that genuinely want to work with their hands and live…

Sewoon – a City of Making (in Seoul)

Sewoon – a City of Making (in Seoul)

The Cities of Making team was invited by Professor Jie-Eun Hwang to contribute the Urban Manufacturing Next forum focused on an inner-city neighbourhood called Sewoon Sangga, rich with small-scale manufacturers yet under frightening pressure to be gentrified.  The site has long lived quietly next-door to one of the city’s more intensely occupied…

Löwy & La Wetterenoise

Löwy & La Wetterenoise

Baking in Brussels Löwy is an artisanal baker and the retail face for La Wetterenoise.  Both are located in the Drogenbos neighbourhood at the south of Brussels, in a city known for having a baker on every other corner in some parts of the city.  They’re positioned somewhere in the…

Petrus Neon

Petrus Neon

Signage and clients Petrus is a signage company located at the south of Brussels.  It has grown over the years from a business offering one-off solutions to small shops to now building strong relationships with brands and companies to deliver a full service, from design to manufacturing and installation.  …

Build it in Britain and why manufacturing matters for communities

Build it in Britain and why manufacturing matters for communities

Corbyn is right, manufacturing does have an important role. We need to move beyond well-rehearsed responses which seem to set opinion about the sector as a binary choice – manufacturing is everything vs manufacturing is nothing. This serves only to stymy useful and pragmatic discussion about the real value and…

Cities of Making: Insights From Brussels, London and Rotterdam

Cities of Making: Insights From Brussels, London and Rotterdam

Manufacturing is changing; where once consolidation and high-volume production pushed manufacturing activities offshore, new developments in technology are offering opportunities to re-distribute and re-localise manufacturing. Alongside this is the need for us to radically rethink the way we produce and consume goods to reduce the negative environmental impacts of our…

Mapping London’s makers

Mapping London’s makers

It’s false that manufacturing in London is in perennial decline. Job numbers have actually reached a plateau since the end of the financial crisis. And the sector is more important for the city than it gets credit for. London’s manufacturers support the city’s wider population of businesses and residents. Providing…

London: making space for manufacturing in the city

London: making space for manufacturing in the city

The report argues that, despite significant changes to the scale and makeup of manufacturing in the three cities, the sector still has an important role to play in their economic and social fabrics. Perhaps even more so in a future which promises new opportunities from technological developments, such as distributed…

The Cities Report

The Cities Report

Urban manufacturing, interpreted simply as the production in cities of tradable goods at scale, is a poorly understood aspect of urban life that is often taken for granted or overlooked in urban planning. Following years of decline and offshoring, European cities may now be at a turning point. Firstly, manufacturing…

Off:Re:Onshore

Off:Re:Onshore

This post was produced for and first appeared on the site of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. In recent decades, economies of the Global South have been shaped by offshore production and labour-intensive industrialization, which often come with dangerous work conditions, inadequate wages, and sexual exploitation, notably in the garment industry.…

Think Manufacturing in London Is No More? Think Again.

Think Manufacturing in London Is No More? Think Again.

Among London’s rich history of trade and finance it is easy to forget that it was once an industrial city. The clothing, leather, hat and shoemaking industries were important to the East End, and other industries from watches and precision engineering in Clerkenwell, to shipbuilding on the Thames, to motor…