The theme of Blue Collars in Green Cities seeks to advance inclusive urban economies by confronting longstanding tensions between planning for urban sustainability and planning for urban industry. The legacy of industrial pollution and the erosion of industrial jobs have contributed to perceptions of urban industry as incompatible with vibrant green city visions and healthy urban environments. Consequently, various forms of urban sustainability planning—land use, transportation, economic development—have either ignored or actively discouraged industrial sectors. The resulting antagonisms between industrial interests and sustainability advocates threatens to stall progress in both areas. The 2020 MACP Studio project starts from the assertion that the representation of urban industry and sustainability as incompatible is both inaccurate and unnecessary; it then aims to identify creative new visions for the ‘green city’ by linking two avenues of research and practice that are commonly addressed separately: urban industrial planning, and transit planning.
The term guiding this Studio course—Transit Oriented Manufacturing—is not one that currently exists in planning research and practice. It is a new term, introduced by the instructors as a way to open new space for thinking about planning for transit and industry simultaneously. Working with a new term in this way has clear tradeoffs. On one hand, it can stimulate curiosity, new ways of thinking, and new forms of planning practice. On the other hand, it can be challenging to work with a new term that requires definition and explanation and that lacks an existing body of scholarship and examples of practice. The students in this Studio deserve recognition for their work defining, exploring, and ultimately making a foundational contribution to a new area of research.
Pendras, J. Mark and Dierwechter, Yonn, "Blue Collars in Green Cities: Exploring Transit Oriented Manufacturing" (2020). Urban Design. 26.