Brussels is dotted with remnants of a productive past. The many former workshops and warehouses witness how production used to form a self-evident part of urban life. Working and living naturally co-existed within the same neighbourhood, on the same parcel, and even within the same building.
The twentieth century, however, initiated a radical shift. Productive activities were pushed and pulled towards the urban fringe and beyond. By now, the costs of this evolution for our society have become clear. Importing goods and services for the local urban population from far away overloads urban traffic, wastes energy and eliminates local employment for makers.
Production needs to reclaim its place in the city of the twenty-first century. To stimulate its return, both former and current-day urban workplaces demonstrate how production can still be organised within a dense urban fabric. For some, it might have become an obscured and forgotten phenomenon, but productive activities indeed still have their place in Brussels. These enterprises are both rooted in a century-old tradition of a natural co-existence of living and working in the city, and at the same time ensure and inspire a sustainable future for a vibrant and mixed urban economy.
Cities of Making and Building Brussels have joined forces to expose some persistent examples of a productive city life. Cities of Making zooms in on three neighbourhoods in Brussels where all sorts of production have maintained their place in the urban fabric: Buda, Cureghem and Drogenbos. Building Brussels places a long-term historical focus on the sector of construction, which produces and renovates the vital necessity of housing for the urban population. The spatial organisation of construction enterprises is demonstrated for three subsectors: general contractors, woodworkers and metalworkers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPerspective.brussels
Media of outputposter
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2019

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