Cities Should Plan for Urban Industry?

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Why Urban Planning?

Urban planning helps to implement the propositions of a municipal budget. Also, it helps in making sound decisions about infrastructure development and related service areas.  Above all. urban planning evenly distributes economic development across the territory and realizes social objectives. Moreover, urban planning enables an ideal partnership between private enterprises, local government bodies, and the general public. Therefore, cities should plan for urban industry since it can assist leaders in implementing their visions efficiently, all the while engaging stakeholders harmoniously.

Undoubtedly, a well-planned city will be able to anticipate and mitigate threats on time efficiently. Urban planning can boost the overall urban economy.  It also helps cities attain economies of scale. It is more cost-effective than other strategies. Urban planning can help local authorities in climate change mitigation and sustainable community-building initiatives (Säynäjoki, Heinonen & Junnila, 2014, p. 6622).

Some Challenges Cities plan for urban industry face

As everyone knows, various challenges have plagued cities in the past and present. The rapid urban population growth continues to pose a challenge since residential spaces are running out.  The poverty level in urban societies is growing abysmally, and some people are unable to access even essential amenities of life. The increasing population density is also contributing significantly to environmental degradation. Another major challenge is about sustaining urban sectors as the centers of growth.  There are also cries for bridging the gap between supply and demand on infrastructure services.

All the while, planners should even come up with ways to manage urban growth in balance with economic, environmental, and social development. The urban management capacity also needs to strengthen the incorporation of sustainable projects that can address long term goals. The decentralization technique adopted by the government also raises funding challenges. For developing successful urban planning and designs, governments have to prioritize the development of sustainable and well-functioning environments (Voghera & Shahreen, 2019).

Urban industrial planning for sustainable development

Stein (2012) argues that cities have always undervalued industry’s contribution to economic development. According to him, incorporation of the urban industry should include adequate use of lands and local development policies (Stein, 2012, p. 39). With proper collaboration between cities, the private sector, and development agencies, sustainable urban industrial development can bring in numerous benefits. 

A dynamic interplay persists between industries and cities. Cities can contribute significantly to national economic development with the diversification and coexistence of urban sectors. Urban industries play a crucial role in fostering urban creativity and sustainability. It can help the city come up with imaginative solutions to socio-economic and environmental discrepancies, economic stagnancy, urban shrinkage, and social segregation. These creative industries can revitalize cities to newer dimensions. Scott posits that cities become the historic centers of production relationships and collaborated infrastructures (Gibson & Warren, 2015).

Concerns about cities planning for urban industry

Numerous barriers challenge the effective implementation of these strategies. Many market and regulatory markets challenge industrial planning. Moreover, many plans fall into the rigidity traps. Hence, they are not flexible enough to combat the changing whims of urbanization and therefore get stuck up in the planning phase itself.

Many stakeholders also voice out their environmental concerns that arise due to the incorporation of industries in cities. Also, a few socio-ecological barriers affect the implementation of technical barriers in society. Besides, some developers are worried about the prohibitive cost barriers that arise in urban planning. Upfront costs and other concerns like green materials, technologies, low impact development practices, and other certification fees are also crucial.

These factors discourage the proponents of industrial planning. Sustainable industrial development requires approaches that can protect industrial lands in urban cities and discourage the growth of industrial sprawl.


Stein, S. (Winter 2012). Sites Speak Louder than Words Occupy Wall Street in New York City. Progressive Planning, 190, ISSN 1559-9736.

Säynäjoki, E. Heinonen, J. & Junnila, S. (2014). The Power of Urban Planning on Environmental Sustainability: A Focus Group Study in Finland. Sustainability, 6, 6622-6643. doi:10.3390/su6106622

Shahreen, F. & Voghera, A. (2019). Urban planning and design methods for sustainable development. Research Gate. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265922689_Urban_planning_and_design_methods_for_sustainable_development

Gibson, C., Carr, C. & Warren, A. (2015). “Making things: Beyond the binary of manufacturing and creativity”. In K. Oakley & J. O’Connor (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries (pp. 86-96). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

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