Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Hyper-Competitive Industrial Markets: Implications for Urban Planning and the Manufacturing Renaissance

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Abstract:  After several decades of deindustrialisation in the so-called advanced economies, we are seeing a renewed enthusiasm for urban manufacturing in cities, and the integration of production into the city fabric. Yet, small-scale industrial accommodation has long been susceptible to displacement by higher-value land uses—particularly residential and prime office—which directly undermines such aspirations. This article focuses on the case of London and, through a review of planning policy and planning documents, market data, and participant observation in both public and private sector networks, provides evidence for and explores the impacts of a hyper-competitive industrial market that has emerged as an outcome of ongoing limited supply and growing demand in the sector. Although it signals a reversal of displacement dynamics between industrial and residential uses, potentially slowing the loss of industrial land supply, it is also leading to a narrowing of demand and competition within the industrial market that leads to intra-industrial gentrification and threatens smaller manufacturers. The article reveals tensions and limitations in planning approaches that seek to manage industrial land supply and create a diversity of workspace accommodation, as well as a gap between popular policy narratives of industrious cities and manufacturing renaissance, and the coherence of policies to support them. The article concludes with a discussion of future research that could advance policy and other interventions to support manufacturing in cities, to further sustainability and social inclusion agendas.

Keywords:  competition; displacement; gentrification; industry; London; manufacturing; planning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v8i4.7114


© Jessica Ferm. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.