A recent study co-authored by MRI on the metropolitan dimensions of urban manufacturing (ESPON MISTA) has just been launched on the ESPON website. The study was carried out by Politechnico Milano, WIFO – Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Latitude and Metropolitan Research Institute.
The study is organised around the role of manufacturing in urban areas of Europe with special attention to the forseen challenges of the 4th industrial revolution and the specific sectors of manufacturing in different urban areas that ensure the satisfacton of local needs but keeps the competitive position of cities at the same time. In order to reach these goals the research concentrates on finding the proper coordination mechanisms on metropolitan scale in the framework of fragmented governance systems.
The study evaluates the general trends in the manufacturing sector (decreasing labour force but increasing added value) in and around urban centres and analyses the spatial dynamics of different segments of manufacturing moving out from urban cores. The study also aims to identify possibilities for cooperation through which a more optimal division of manufacturing capacities can be achieved on a metropolitan scale based on the cases of Berlin, Oslo, Riga, Stuttgart, Turin, Vienna and Warsaw.
The study concludes that to a certain extent the division of roles in manufacturing between the city cores and their agglomeration is natural: having high added value activities inside cores where land prices are high, while locating manufacturing activities with high land use and transportation needs outside cities. However, this natural phenomenon tends to be harmful in cases where it generates additional transportation flows of goods and people, emptying out the city cores of basic manufacturing activities which provided jobs and sustained services. Thus, stronger interventions by public actors are needed not only on the level of the city but rather across whole urban functional areas to influence locational decisions of individual companies.
You can find the study with all its attachments at https://www.espon.eu/mista