Transnational Production Spaces: Integrating Global Production Networks and Urban Research

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Urban Geography Specialty Group, Economic Geography Specialty Group, Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Galerie 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Anke Hagemann, Elke Beyer
Chairs: Anke Hagemann


Transnational production networks and commodity flows are formed and articulated by specific local constellations and material assemblages – architectures, urban spaces and infrastructures – at the diverse sites of production and distribution. From the gated enclaves of export processing zones or vast industrial districts in peri-urban regions to gigantic megastructures of trade and logistics centers or numerous small sweatshops in informally built-up areas – the international division of labour has been changing the face of many urban areas around the world, and uneven spatial development is not only manifest in the hierarchical structure of value chains, but also in the built environments of production locations.

Seeking a better understanding of the interdependencies between such quickly transforming urban spaces and the dynamics of global production relations, the potential for an integration of global commodity chains or production networks and urban research have been highlighted by geographers in recent years, most notably in the initial debate on “World City Networks and Global Commodity Chains” (2010) and in search of a comprehensive research agenda for transnational urban spaces (Krätke, Wildner and Lanz 2012, Parnreiter 2012). Likewise, the materiality of comoodity flows has been emphasized in cultural geography and anthropology. For urban research, GCC/GPN or “follow-the-thing” approaches offer an advanced perspective on architecture and the city: they facilitate a multi-local analysis of places which are usually not put in relation, they deepen our insights into the transnational character of urban spaces and they may guide our view to inconspicuous aspects of the built environment. Likewise, multi-local research along production networks responds in a ground-breaking way to the challenge of a conceptually new comparative urban research (Robinson 2011/McFarlane 2012/Ward 2010). For GCC/GPN scholarship, on the other hand, an integration with urban research offers rich new perspectives and insights, as material preconditions, urban development and planning often have considerable effect on location decisions and the spatial structure of production networks. However, to date, empirical urban research has hardly addressed the effects and interdependencies of globalized industrial production and transnational commodity flows on urban built structures. At the same time, the broad field of research into global commodity chains and production networks has paid little attention to spatial and physical transformations of the actual locations of production, or the material preconditions and articulations of commodity flows.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Lauri Turpeinen*, University of Helsinki, Lucas-Andrés Elsner*, , The uneven spatialities of the Finnish forestry industry - Incorporating Neil Smith's "Uneven Development" in commodity chain analysis 20 5:20 PM
Presenter Michael Lukas*, Universidad De Chile, Governing the local contradictions of global integration: extractive industries, transnational urban expertise and the incubation of a new urban governance model in Chile 20 5:40 PM
Presenter G. Pelin Olcay*, Istanbul Arel University, The Formation of International Production and Supply Chain Geography of Apparel Firms: A Case in Turkey 20 6:00 PM
Presenter Lizzie Richardson*, Durham University, Mike Crang, Durham University, Infrastructures on-demand: takeaway parcels, delivered restaurants and the production of urban convenience 20 6:20 PM
Presenter Katharina Grueneisl*, Durham University, Wetsuits, bras, remote controls: used good circulations and everyday processes of city making in the ‘fripes’- markets of Tunis 20 6:40 PM

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