Productive Urban Landscapes

Research and practice around the CPUL design concept

Opening slide from Prof. Howard Davis’ presentation at the 26th ISUF  (source: Howard Davis 2019)

Continuous Productive Industrial Landscapes

During “Cities as Assemblages”, the 2019 International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF) held in Nicosia, Cyprus, in early July, Prof. Howard Davis from the School of Architecture and Environment at University of Oregon presented a new concept for Continuous Productive Industrial Landscapes. Reflecting on the needs for large vibrant cities like London and New York to re-accommodate spaces for new small-scale, high-tech and craft-based industry, Howard and his postgraduate students at Oregon have been developing design strategies influenced by the CPUL concept and the work of economist Alfred Marshall (1842-1924).

The abstract to his paper explains how the CPUL concept and Marshall’s writing have been used to inform the Continuous Productive Industrial Landscape concept.

‘This paper describes a concept from the urban agriculture movement that helps develop a new approach to industrial location, recognizing the importance of a new kind of industrial “ecosystem.” Specifically, the “continuous productive urban landscape” brings together different modes of urban agriculture—community gardens, industrial greenhouses, vertical growing surfaces, home gardens, “green roofs,” and other local agricultural types to form a green ecosystem that provides continuity of species habitats, thereby reinforcing the strength of the overall system. In analogous manner, the “continuous productive industrial landscape,” based also on the work of the economist Alfred Marshall and the spatial manifestation of the “agglomeration economy,” brings together different modes of industrial production, including workshops, small factories, large plants, industrial research facilities, and industrial research labs. They help form an ecosystem in which proximity helps the exchange of new knowledge and industrial innovation.’

As we post this, Prof. Davis has just submitted the manuscript for a book provisionally titled Working Cities: Architecture, place and production which will expand on these ideas.


For the “Cities as Assemblages” seminar and ISUF abstracts, see the 26th ISUF website.

For further author information see Howard Davis’s website.

Image: Opening slide from Prof. Howard Davis’ presentation at the 26th ISUF  (source: Howard Davis 2019)

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* architecture* urban designInternational

Andre Viljoen • 8th July 2019

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