Foundries of the Future

Foundries of the Future

Since the 1970s, cities world-wide have been witness to radical de-industrialisation. Manufacturing was considered incompatible with urban life and was actively pushed out. As economies have grown, public officials and developers have instinctively shifted their priorities to short-term, high-yielding land uses such as offices, retail space and housing. Inner-city growth from New…

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…

Profiles: Cantillon – Brussels

Profiles: Cantillon – Brussels

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…

Profiles: BIGH – Brussels

Profiles: BIGH – Brussels

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…

Profiles: CF2D – Brussels

Profiles: CF2D – Brussels

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…

Profiles: Loewenstein Machines – Brussels

Profiles: Loewenstein Machines – Brussels

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…

Profiles: Screen Group – Brussels

Profiles: Screen Group – Brussels

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…

Integrating manufacturing in the city: a few common patterns

Integrating manufacturing in the city: a few common patterns

Protection Protecting existing industrial space in cities provides continuity for firms and prevents the disruption of existing social and business networks. To be most beneficial for all sizes and kinds of manufacturing businesses, protection is needed across different kinds of space, from large scale industry-only sites to fine-grained sites where…

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…

Profiles: Pragma Plexi / Treize – Brussels

Profiles: Pragma Plexi / Treize – Brussels

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…

Profile: Sewoon – a City of Making (in Seoul)

Profile: 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…

Profiles: Löwy & La Wetterenoise – Brussels

Profiles: Löwy & La Wetterenoise – Brussels

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…

Profiles: Petrus Neon – Brussels

Profiles: Petrus Neon – Brussels

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.  …

Profiles: Mark Brearley – Kaymet – London

Profiles: Mark Brearley – Kaymet – London

We started in the basement of a radio shop in the 1930s and became Kaymet in 1947. A classic story of city enterprise. Four years ago, the business nearly evaporated, but now sales have more than doubled, to 40 countries, and the team has grown to ten. We are proud to…

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…

London: a Future for Making

London: a Future for Making

1. Providing space for making A bustling city like London must accommodate a range of commercial, domestic and civic activities. Spatial planning and architectural decisions made today will shape the future of the city. This is as true for the future of manufacturing as it is for the future of…

Rotterdam: bringing on the Next Economy

Rotterdam: bringing on the Next Economy

1. Channeling the Next Economy The transition to the so-called Next Economy attracts great confusion regarding which sectors to stimulate, the priorities, the new economic profile of the city and region and its basic industry in the future. Nonetheless, some sectors are named as strategic – and therefore absorb all…

Brussels: four areas for action

Brussels: four areas for action

1. Giving urban manufacturing a name One of the biggest challenges for urban manufacturing is to define what it means. Currently a vast range of activities fall into an ‘industrial’ category which can include – transportation, waste management, storage, agriculture, repairs, retail, offices, even film production, in addition to core…

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…