Urban policy and planning after the metamorphosis of workplaces

Authors: Simonetta Armondi*, Politecnico di Milano
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: workplaces, makerspaces, urban policy, urban planning, post-politics
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: 8217, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In the 1990s and early 2000s, technology, manufacturing industries, and knowledge economy, experienced a significant transition particularly visible in urban areas. The emergence of the fast-growing phenomenon of new workplaces related to these changes, such as coworking and makerspaces, is more the object of political and media rhetoric. Makerspaces are shared workshops where citizens can access digital fabrication equipment to design and make their own objects. They are proliferating rapidly and could represent an alternative to Fordist manufacturing paradigm, promising to spread social innovation and strengthen urban regeneration. In fact, forward-looking cities in US incorporated the makerspaces into their long-term municipal plans, recognizing that the local economy could benefit from the creative approach that is often limited in large-scale manufacturing.
The paper, focused on the first results of an ongoing research on makerspaces, addresses two research questions regarding the nexus between these new places of production and public policy:
- How are urban policy makers responding to the demand and micro-level dynamics of these innovative spaces?
- Can urban planning slow down or stimulate the expansion and novel combination of these workplaces?
The paper aims at arguing if and how current first attempts of developing public policy and planning tools for makerspaces contribute to both a sort of ‘post-politic’ urban public initiatives and ‘post-public’ urban spatiality.

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