highlineWork patterns and production patterns are changing in cities around the world as a consequence of far-reaching development in technology, demography, and globalized economy. Globalization and the service sector of the economy were to develop new industrial and work models and work as best suited to the knowledge-led economy. Labour flexibility, clusters, dynamic reorganization, mixed uses, creative incubators, transport and exchange infrastructures as economic and mobility hubs, we are witnessing profound changes in doing and working patterns. Also a preference of companies for another type of workspace can be observed, workspace with multifunctional social spaces dedicated to human interactions, better integrated in the urban pattern and closer to mobility hubs.
Combined with the imperative of sustainability and the current financial context, these changing patterns of work are beginning to alter our (use of the) built environment as well as the relation between economic and spatial planning.

The Community of Competence (CC) on Workspace Urbanism, departing from new understandings on the urbanization process in a knowledge economy, works together with its members (local governments, private companies, academics, development agencies...) to find integrated and practical solutions to these strategic questions.

This CC will deepen the awareness on how the organization of workspace has driven urban patterns, on the instruments and projects that should be put in place to change the urban spatial characteristics, taking into account the changing patterns of modes of living, learning, innovation and networks.

The community of competence's program answers to key issues identified by INTA members:

  • In which ways will developments in ICT influence future physical location patterns of workplaces?
  • How can we better integrate workspaces into urban (mobility) functions?
  • How can various production spaces be more efficiently linked?
  • What are new (architectural) design parameters?
  • How can urban planners prepare for changing demand for workspaces?
  • What are potential new functions for obsolete production facilities?
  • Which opportunities does it bring for the larger metropolitan region? How is this changing the conventional relation between centre and periphery?


In particular community members propose to open the debate along the lines of the three following topics:

1/ Productive territories  (linked to CC Metro)
Key words: system of linked functions and territories, resorting to a metropolitan logic, to make them more productive; mobility, civic institutions, governance; education, infrastructure,...
These new territories are confronted with new development challenges: how to take advantage of the new structure and of the potential synergies of the larger urban region. The urban region as machinery of learning.
International roundtable Learning Cities. Managing Urban Change in Places of Connection.
> Debate on Inner-city stations/hubs of connection ongoing

2/ Knowledge neighborhoods (linked to CC Habitat)
Zoom at a smaller scale more focused on planning instruments. What enables to build a good project where you get all the economic system on the area, to get the best value of it. Effective projects, real projects that involve a bigger number of stakeholders.

3/ Industrial urbanity
How to integrate the industrial, knowledge and productive structures within the urban framework and life. Problem of land use planning that separate industries to urban systems. Change the understandings > value chains.
> debate ongoing

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