Planning for industry: an urbanistic perspective

Gamze Tarımeri, Nur Dilan Özdemir

This paper aims to understand the planning for industry from an urbanistic perspective. After a brief history of planning and its relationship with the city, major schools and approaches giving a prominent role to industry in shaping the modern city will be discussed through the programs, prototypes and ideologies. Also, the contemporary approaches on spatial planning for industrial development and its examples will be covered in this critical essay.

Industry has always shared a close relationship with the city. Industrial location, its effect on urban form and its relationship with other land uses has been closely studied since the Industrial Revolution. Since that time, industry as experienced vast amounts of change in both a physical and economic sense.

The industrial revolution had the effect of bringing more and more people from the countryside into the heart of the city looking for work. Such dramatic overpopulation and unrestricted urban growth led to slum housing, dirty air, disease and a lack of communal green spaces within the city landscape. After that term, early city planners began to impose regulatory laws establishing housing standards for housing, sanitation etc. Urban planners also introduced parks, playground in the city neighborhoods, for recreation as well as visual relief. The notion of zoning was a major concept of urban planning at this time.

Zoning was originally developed as a response to the pollution from factories, overcrowding of residential neighbourhoods due to a massive influx of urban labourers, skyscrapers blocking light, and congested streets and sidewalks. Traditionally, communities adopted three basic zones: residential, commercial, and industrial. Residential uses could be built anywhere in the city. This was problematic for industrial land uses as they could only be built in industrial zoned areas.

Following industry’s rapid expansion in the early 19th century, the desire for suburbanization and clustering were popularized and it is described as industrial decentralization which creates opportunities for growth. Lewis and Walker argue that while cities were continually growing and expanding, particularly at the edge, the choice of industrial developers to locate at the periphery occurred with respect to potential profits of land investment and infrastructure, housing, and commercial development in these lands. What is left in the city are office parks like the service industry.

Following WWII and the expansion of automobile, infrastructure and the trucking industry, modern industrial parks arose. The first autonomous industrial parks were not readily available within urban centres and heavily dependent on rail integration including the spur lines and rail yards required to move raw materials and ship product. Autonomous industrial parks changed again in the 1970s, corresponding to the rise of globalization and the shift from light or heavy manufacturing to logistics, information and technology based industries and economies.

From the 1750s on, four phases in the evolving spatial dynamic between city and industry have been identified. The first phase is the mercantile city, where industry was commonly seen at the local scale, the second one is industrial cities, where assembly lines and large industrial districts were the norm, third one is the garden city, a response to the pollution and crowded industrial city built on ideals of marrying town and country; and finally the composite city, where technological advancement and economic slowdowns promoted more flexibility. As an extension of this analysis, a fourth phase of the city-industry dynamic, the post industrial city, is the result of deindustrialization, where globalization and increasing land use, costs of labour and transportation conflict has driven industry out of urban cores. Indeed, urban industry has replaced antiquated methods of large-scale production with the advanced manufacturing that is cleaner, greener, and often smaller. Also, new ways such as implementation of industrial urbanism with hybridization and redeveloping old industrial sites or brownfield sites for new industrial purposes are pursued by academics.

To better understand the evolving spatial relationship between cities and industrial environments, Hatuka classified three spatial prototypes of city-industry relationships that are commonly seen today: “adjacent” which is based on zoning, “autonomous” which is characterized by large-scale zones occupied by uniform industrial buildings and surrounded by various physical boundaries and “integrated” which is the symbiosis between living and working.

When we examine Manisa OIZ, we can say that the most suitable prototype is adjacent. Because there is a seperation between living and working. Interurban roads and open spaces in the area strenghtens the division between the city and the industrial area. Also, the employment relationship between the residents and industry is not exclusive. Some employees arrive from other localities such as Bornova, İzmir. Furthermore, Manisa OIZ constructed in a wide field in the periphery and contains often uneven structures that are low in height. However, creative industries can be suggested to ensure a better integration of Manisa OIZ with the city. Thus, the industry can turn into a center of attraction for people in the city center and become a meeting point for people from different backgrounds in the city.

The development of industrial revolution can be categorized under four periods. In this research, we examine these periods in terms of “planning” and “prototype”. Based on the first industrial revolution (1750-1870), it can be inferred that industrial settlements were basically unplanned and it gives the impression of a city that its industrial spaces are randomly appearing in the city. We can also relate this unorganized and dispersed configuration with the “autonomous” prototype according to the classification of prototypes introduced by Hatuka. There is an integrated city conflict between living and production. In the second industrial revolution, after the innovation of electrical energy and mass production, there is an emergence of zoning. The term “zoning” also reminds us one of the well-known example of the utopians which is called “Garden City” and introduced by Ebenezer Howard in 1898. Howard’s garden city concept aims to combine town and country into one unifying concept as an answer to the pollution and congestion. There was an uncontrolled growth of the industrial city, he intended to locate the industrial uses factories, workshops, warehouses, etc. to within city limits as they were a necessary part of the garden city economy.  According to the principle of zoning, the city would be surrounded by a “green zone” intended for agriculture and recreation.

During the second industrial revolution (1870-1950), when we revisit the earlier approaches of the Utopians, it’s also important to mention Linear City by Arturo Sorio y Mata in 1882. The most important aim was to combine nature and the city, whereas Howard’s Garden City intends to combine town and country. In Linear City, adjacent physical structures are legible as morphology. It can be also inferred as a zone of production and with related scientific, technical and educational institutions. Linear City replaced the traditional idea of the city as a center and a periphery. Although the Linear City design was first developed by Arturo Soria y Mata, during the 19th century, it was promoted by the Soviet planner Nikolai Alexander Milyutin in the late 1920s. To criticize “linearity” as a morphology that forms a city, lack of a center and expansion through the sides are apparent.  The linear model has been criticized for being too simple and lacking centrality. On the other side, Linear cities would improve efficiency of production by bringing industry as close as possible to natural resources, and by being arranged according to the natural flow of production.

The term “linearity” has also been discussed by disurbanist movement. Disurbanism is an anti-urban effect, that objects urbanism which appears to be the optimal setting that could host industialisation. Similar to Linearity by Milyutin or Arturo y Mata, the city without a center is also discussed by disurbanists. Moreover, irrational accretions and clusters are also contributed to disurbanist movements. While urbanism seems to be the result of the need for careful planning of the spatial expansion of inherited cities, disurbanism on the other side, aims to eliminate the division between urban and rural. Disurbanism sought to remove the inequalities and to bring the reality of industrial and agricultural production to the forefront of people’s minds. For example, by forcing factory workers and farmers to live and dine together.

In the third industrial revolution (1950-2000), “suburbs” are also included and the construction of suburban has contributed to the urban planning principles of the city. Periphery and deindustrialization became important. Construction of suburban and industrial parks also caused abandonment of industrial sites in the city and therefore adaptive reuse. Finally, in the fourth industrial revolution, after the innovation of digitalization, hybridisation of industrial and non-industrial uses is introduced while an integrated city was intended.

On the other hand, to mention the optimal location of industrial uses, suburbs are preferred since the flexibility of zoning makes it more significant to settle. The dynamic and adaptable design typology is more easily supported by peripheral space, where there is room for expansion as well as existing building stock that can be reused. To give a contemporary example to this approach, architects Barkow Leibinger who also designs masterplan for industrial areas has contributed to the idea of “industrial places seem to be particularly well-suited to the suburbs” and he came up with the industrial models of four cities: Chicago, Ditzingen, Boston and Kaufbeuren. He claims that the integration of industrial factories within the spaces peripheral to urban centres can take place in four different ways: symbiosis with residential zones, creation of a denser, more diverse industrial urban landscape, engagement with the broader community, and formation of a new industrial nucleus.

In conclusion, the historical periods and revolution of industry during time have contributed to the formation of prototypes in urban planning. Also, utopian models such as Garden City, Linear City, Radient City, etc. are important step in establishing the future of industrial planning and how cities will be shaped with the integration of industry.


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