Urban industries and the production of space: a typomorphological analysis of the mixed urban fabric around the historical national road Jetsesteenweg in Brussels, Belgium.
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Fromthesecondhalfofthetwentiethcentury,industrieshavemoved from locations in urban areas to the monofunctional fringe due to zoning policies and rising real estate prices. More recently, high unemployment rates, lengthy commuting journeys and economic dependability have reoriented the urban planning agenda towards the qualitative retrofit of small-scale production in vital inner-city areas. However, this reveals that designers seem to have 'forgotten' how to spatially integrate industries in the city. As large industrial sites have remained in the mixed urban fabric of Brussels, it serves as a useful research object to explore this knowledge gap. This paper aims to retrace the role played by small-scale industries in the morphogenetic and typomorphological development of the city's historically-important national roads. Hence, historical reconstruction and functional mapping are combined to unravel types of the industrial mix at different scales and through time. Through process typological analyses of the city's mixed urban fabric, this research explores what can be learned from the logics underlying the path-dependency of urban industries.