Urban Economy Video, Victor Vroegindeweij, Building for Brussels exhibition, BOZAR, 2010 Why does the dominant urban development culture drive the local manufacturing economy and logistics out of the city? While the rate of unemployment in cities is so high, and the city is the main market for goods?   
Building for Brussels Publication, Editions Parenthèses, 2012 One chapter of the book was devoted to the question: how can architecture support the local economy? A new, urgent work field had been exposed.   
Bridge, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, Festival Kanal Play Ground, Brussels, 2014. The temporary pedestrian bridge spanning the canal, designed by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, connects the city of makers to the city of thinkers.
Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis, video, Storyrunner, 2016. While we primarily viewed our home city of Brussels as a city with hundreds of problems, Brearley called it a ‘city of miracles’. In Brussels, unlike other European cities, there is still a lot of industry, and, as Brearley says: A Good City Has Industry!    
Installation views 'IABR–2016-The Next Economy', 2016, IABR, Rotterdam. Photo: Filip Dujardin During a three-month period, we organised lectures, debates, guided tours and design ateliers almost daily. iabr.nl It allowed us to increase the enthusiasm of a broad audience of policy-makers, professionals, academics and students with regard to the new vision of the productive city.  
A Good City Has Industry, Visitor Guide, 2016. Visitor guide from A Good City Has Industry, with ten rules of thumb for building the productive city.    
Picture Series 'Atelier Brussels', 2015, Brussels. Photo: Bas Bogaerts Unlike many other European cities, there is still a lot of economic activity and industry embedded in the urban fabric of Brussels.   
Urban Metabolism of the Brussels Region - Interview with Olv Klijn of Fabric, 2016. Fabric considers a city to be a living 'metabolism'. The ultimate goal is to create a circular city. This is a city where all the different flows are optimally aligned and as few precious raw and other materials and energy as possible are lost.   
Work models for the Productive City, research by design, Plusoffice + WRKSHPS, Atelier Brussels, 2016 How do we design space for the many businesses in productive districts? The Tinker Tower makes production prominently visible in the public space. It celebrates industry in the city and restores the pride of manufacturing.   
De Lage Landen 2020-2100, 2014-2017 In the publication De Lage Landen 2020-2100 we look a century further into the future. New production technologies such as CAD/CAM represent an opportunity to transform the current logistics chain of production in low-wage countries into a short chain. From now on, production will take place where and when it is needed.   
'(re) Productive City', animated film, You Are Here, 2018 The transition to a circular economy represents an opportunity to transform our cities into circular and sustainable cities. The animated film shows how we can accelerate this transformation through highly specific projects and reduce the impact of economic activities on our planet.  
Maarten Gielen, Rotor, interview, You Are Here, 2018 Maarten Gielen is one of the pioneers in Europe in the field of the circular economy. Rotor harvests materials from buildings destined for demolition to reuse them elsewhere. The materials are kept as close as possible to their original state so that minimal energy is lost.  
Circular City Ports, synthesis, 2019. Our ports play a central role in the transition to circular cities. With the transition to a circular economy and the return of production to our cities, the ports will be assigned a new function: as energy generators, material banks, recycling yards or as the basis of new maritime economies.     
Kortrijk 2025. De stad die we kunnen willen, publication, 2018. In Kortrijk, we organised an ambitious participative project together with the city council, in which hundreds of citizens jointly decided the future of their city. The city's many abandoned industrial buildings are assigned a new purpose to accommodate the urban economy of the future.     


Text: Roeland Dudal (AWB) en Joeri De Bruyn (Public Space)

This narrative is largely based on the research developed in the framework of the Atelier Brussel - Productive Metropolis.

Atelier Master: Mark Brearley, Cities research group at London Metropolitan University and Kaymet, London

Partners: IABR, Brussels-Capital Region, Ruimte Vlaanderen, OVAM and the Province of Flemish Brabant

Design teams: Plusoffice Architects/ WRKSHP collective, CENTRAL/ Eva Le Roi/ Maxime Delvaux, URA architects, Spacelab.be, Fabric/ ULB (LoUIsE and BATir)/ Circular Economy