Urban Update 8th April 2016

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Urban Design 138 – Spring 2016: Industry and Urban Design

Louise Thomas introduces the current edition of Urban Design

A sustainable and enjoyable city should be truly mixed use with homes, jobs and recreation, and yet it can be a challenge to include industrial activities - an essential part of a city‘s economy and vitality. These areas are often depicted as being noisy, polluting, sometimes dangerous and requiring vast tracts of land – all of which seem incompatible with increasing housing growth pressures. However strategies and solutions do exist to create inspiring urban spaces for industry, as the articles in this issue of Urban Design, gathered by guest topic editor Emilie Leclerq, show.

In this issue we look at the trends and case studies that encompass these challenges of keeping, transforming, improving and mixing industrial areas with housing. Firstly we review how industrial activities can shape cities while creating good and sustainable places to live.  Tim Catchpole starts with the components of historic industrial model towns in England and their philanthropic origins. In a second article he examines the ingredients for successful modern industrial cities, while Richard Alvey presents the new settlement of Panama Pacifico, on a large former industrial site.

We explore the issue of city regeneration and the successful transformation of areas impacted by the loss of industrial activities. Martin Aarts, Menno Huijs and Isabelle Vries review current planning and design approaches in Rotterdam – a port-city - and the evolution that has occurred in planning. Darinka Golubovic Matic and Rob Van Der Wijst explain how Eindhoven has transformed itself from a declining city to a vibrant centre of technology and innovation, through bottom-up developments, intense collaboration and innovative crossovers. Kai Dietrich demonstrates the need for long-term strategies and the real value of combining public and private resources in Hamburg.

We also investigate newer trends and the evolution of industrial activities within urban areas. Jessica Ferm explores the impact of the loss of industrial land in London and the need for more innovative solutions to safeguard traditional and new forms of industrial activities. Juliana Martins demonstrates how the relationship between creative industries and places can make successful and integrated neighbourhoods, in London’s Silicon Roundabout area. Biljana Savic reports on the Reviving Places by Reusing Industrial Heritage conference in Manchester in December 2015, where discussions focused on the indisputable value of industrial heritage and the need for better funding systems and clarity of vision to establish the long-term viability of reusing cherished industrial buildings.

Ultimately we examine innovative ways of mixing uses. Jeremy Hernalesteen shows how industrial activities could be integrated within the urban fabric, urging urban designers to be more proactive. David Rudlin explains how to transform ageing industrial estates into innovation districts by generating a greater intensity of activities, and Emilie Leclerq reports on the work of the Société du Grand Paris on integrating industrial buildings associated with the new orbital metro system within the urban fabric.

An excellent pair of Viewpoint articles also addresses the need to find more space for housing, this time in suburbs and small towns. Simone Gobber describes his work on housing for older people and sets his proposed typologies in the town of Princes Risborough. Ben Derbyshire and Riette Oosthuizen explain their potential policy strategy for creating ‘plot passports’, which would allow neighbourhoods to become denser, household-by-household but within a larger policy framework.

Regular features include the Urban Design Library this time on Berman Marshall’s All that is solid melts into air, Ombretta Romice has chosen My Favourite Plan, and there are reviews of new books and recent urban design related events - many of which are also available to watch online - plus the always fascinating Endpiece by Joe Holyoak.

Urban Designis the leading journal in its field.  Each issue provides in-depth analysis of topical themes, with contributions from leading practitioners, policymakers and academics from the UK and abroad.