The design and development of physical spaces for production processes have historically been a matter of debate both from a “production model” perspective and from a perspective of coexistence and integration with urban spaces where activities of daily life take place. . Perhaps under the mantra “not in my backyard” and by the search for cheap land that would allow greater profitability, the productive spaces they were physically disconnecting from urban areas, invading ancient natural spaces.
In recent decades, the transformation processes that are taking place in the economy have evolved towards more environmentally sustainable production processes and towards an industry that is increasingly intelligent and intensive in knowledge and technology. The need to have specialized talent and an innovative ecosystem is now an important piece for the competitiveness of industrial companies. Talent and ecosystem that seems to be concentrated around urban areas and with a certain dynamism. The evolution that can be observed in the state of some industrial zones that are barely able to accommodate new companies has shown that the total disconnection of urban areas may no longer be the best option from the point of view of the competitiveness of these spaces (less even if it is intended to host companies with a high technological intensity).
In this sense, many of the industrial estates present great opportunities for regeneration from a comprehensive perspective that makes it possible to support and add value to current and future industrial companies. For this, it is necessary to approach the processes with a multidimensional perspective, which contemplates the competitiveness of companies but looks further and addresses issues such as caring for the environment, leisure or the well-being of people. This approach will facilitate their connection with the urban environment and society and, as a consequence, will reinforce the attraction of talent and the improvement of industrial capacities.
Six complementary dimensions of business space analysis and regeneration can be distinguished.
Employment and economic activity. We analyze the economic activity and the type of employment that business parks house. Among others, the weight of the different sectors of activity present, the size of the companies, the employment generated, the technological and knowledge intensity of the companies or the evolution of economic activity over time. The analysis tries to obtain information that allows understanding the business, innovation and entrepreneurship dynamics around the productive space.
Energy. Aspects related to energy consumption are analyzed (based on the activity sectors, the age of the buildings, etc.), the origin of their generation or the availability of infrastructures and equipment for the supply of renewable energies between others.
Ecology and landscape. It consists of obtaining a photo of the environmental and landscape situation of the polygon. Existing green areas, their distribution, accessibility, urban trees, livestock trails or the existence of green infrastructure (vertical vegetation, vegetated pergolas, vegetated roofs, etc.) and blue (biochannels of water and vegetation, permeable surface, rain garden, water collection tanks, etc.) among others.
Mobility and public space. In the field of mobility, factors of proximity and centrality of the polygon are taken into account both from the point of view of the economic activity that it houses and of the people who work in the area under analysis. It is important to analyze the different methods of transport (public transport, airports, freight trains, etc.), the different transport costs or the infrastructural barriers that may exist, among others. Mobility is in fact a key aspect both from the environmental point of view and from the connection with urban environments. In the field of public space, meeting spaces must be identified such as plazas and commercial hubs existing in the same polygon or in its vicinity, residential spaces, roads, sidewalks, the degree of integrity in daily itineraries, etc. In addition, an attempt should be made to consider and analyze the management framework for these spaces and their governance model.
Building and heritage. Aspects related to the type of building, land use, height of the building, the proportion of productive uses over lucrative uses, the construction system, its year of construction, the size of the plots built or its degree of use and level of obsolescence (vacant plots, for sale, for rent, etc.). Identity and coexistence elements that may be relevant are also taken into account, such as singular industrial constructions, heritage elements with an impact on the landscape, neighborhood projects for participatory intervention, spaces for temporary leisure activities or other elements with similar characteristics.< /p>
Approach and regulations. Contemplates the analysis of strategic plans, management plans or regulations that are directly or indirectly related to the activity of business parks. It is used to obtain information on existing planning areas, both in the development phase and developed (buildable land, submitted planning areas, specific planning areas, etc.). This analysis gives a vision of the remaining buildable area and also provides knowledge and information on areas regulated by zonal regulations susceptible to transformation. In addition, not only the ordinances or plans related to planning and land use should be analyzed, but also those plans and strategies aimed at promoting business competitiveness, promoting entrepreneurship, planning the urban environment or plans related to the ecological transition. in force in the area of activity. The goal is to achieve as many synergies as possible and align the design of the public space with the content that is needed from both companies and citizens.
In addition to the analysis and interpretation of data, documentation, plans, etc., when carrying out a process of these characteristics it is interesting to take into account two other aspects.
Participatory process. The whole process can also feed on participatory processes where the perceptions and desires of companies and citizens are collected, trying to ensure that the development of productive spaces are friendly and connected to the urban environment. These processes should also serve to be able to focus and filter the extensive information obtained from the different analyses, making it possible to find specific objectives and actions.
Regeneration and Competitiveness Plan. Having such extensive information finally makes it possible to set specific objectives and actions in the different aspects to be deployed in a staggered and coherent manner.
Article included in the NAIDER winter publication