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In a time of dramatic shifts in the manufacturing sector -- from large industrial-scale production and design to small-scale distributed systems; from polluting and consumptive production to a clean and sustainable process; from a demand of unskilled labor to a growing need for a more educated and specialized workforce--cities will see new investment and increased employment opportunities. Yet, to reap these benefits will require a shift in our thinking about city physical planning and its design and development. 


What might the future relationships between city and industry look like? What are the spatial needs of contemporary manufacturing? Should contemporary manufacturing be subject to the same rules and zoning regulations as its predecessors?  What could be the benefits of pursuing, retaining, attracting, and increasing manufacturing activity? Is there a way to design an industrial city while also maintaining livability and the quality of life of its inhabitants?


The aim of this symposium is to explore the future relationships between city and industry along three themes with a focus on their spatial implications: 

Monday, October 27, 2014

4 -7 p.m.

MIT Media Lab, (E-14) Sixth Floor 


Reception following the symposium:

MIT Media Lab, (E-14) Sixth Floor 

Symposium schedule


Will the new industrial city work? Industrial Urbanism symposium, MIT News



Click here to see the panelists' bios: 





Click here to watch the panels:

Seagate Plant, Wuxi, China, 2008. Photo: Robert Scoble on Flickr

Photo: Robert Scoble on Flickr

Changing Technologies

Changes in technology are reshaping manufacturing. And manufacturing's physical footprints are changing both place and the daily life of the worker. How might changes in technology affect manufacturing space, distribution, access to transportation, and preferred geographical location? Does contemporary manufacturing have the potential to integrate within dense urban areas? 



Marty Schmidt, Provost MIT

Sanjay Sarma, Director of Digital Learning, MIT

Calestous Juma, Harvard Kennedy School  


Moderator/ Respondent: Tim Love, Founding Principal, Utile

Photo: Mixabest, on Wikimedia Commons

Changing Manufacturing

Changes in manufacturing are reshaping not just the single factory but also areas and regions. How will this dynamic influence urban development patterns? And vice versa, how might manufacturing spatial design be influenced by development patterns? 



Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation, Sloan School of Management, MIT

Ted Acworth, Founder & CEO, Artaic

Alex Klatskin, General Partner, Forsgate Industrial Partners

Moderator/ respondent: Alexander D’Hooghe, Director, Center for Advanced Urbanism, MIT

Photo: Minjee-Clara Kim

Changing Cities

The detachment of cities from the physicality of industry is becoming less and less sustainable. In the coming decades the question will not be whether growth in manufacturing is going to occur, but where. What physical planning and design strategies should cities pursue to support manufacturing? Will the general public embrace the return of industry and manufacturing to the core of its cities? What are some state-of-the-art new designs/examples? 



Amy Glasmeier, DUSP MIT

Neil McCullagh, Executive Director, The American City Coalition

Elisabeth Reynolds, Executive Director, MIT Industrial Performance Center


Moderator/ respondent: Dennis Frenchman, DUSP MIT

Industrial Urbanism symposium, 27.10.14






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