Plants and factories that occupied entire urban areas were replaced by small industrial prototype development facilities, while the main production facilities moved to other parts of the world. Research Intensity.
This trend has resulted from the introduction of high technologies and automation, what is contributing to the development of complex production sectors (pharma, computer technology, chemical industry, production of high-precision parts and chips). Green Operation and Sustainability.
Traditional heavy industries were causing serious damage to the environment by emitting harmful substances into the atmosphere on a daily basis. Nowadays there are requirements not only to the use of advanced technologies in the industry, but also to the organization of the production process, its green operation. Integration Level with Internet of Things.
The technology is implemented by interconnecting computer networks and connecting them to industrial sites with built-in sensors for data collection, monitoring and control without human intervention.
Changes in the form and organization of industry affected the sites of its concentration – the cities, many of them not only had numerous plants and factories, but also were industrial centers. Most of them faced deindustrialization – a large-scale reduction of production and employment in the manufacturing sector.
In this context, the adaptation of former industrial cities and their reorientation towards new industries became a major challenge for Western European governments. The EU structures responsible for general economic policy and industry helped helped the cities to develop a common approach to adapt to modern realities as follows:
- restoration of land resources;
- redevelopment of industrial areas;
- development of housing programs and social infrastructure;
- R&D development and use of R&D achievements in new industries;
- reorientation of large-scale production facilities and their complication (production becomes small in scale, but creates high-precision expensive products);
- creation of programs for professional retraining of workers in order to make them able to operate complex machines and high-precision equipment.
The experiences of Manchester (UK), Lille (France) and Essen (Germany) show that despite the decline of their traditional industries, these cities have managed to qualitatively change their industrial sectors and to oriented them towards the knowledge economy, high technology and skilled workforce. In turn, vast areas of former production facilities have also been qualitatively integrated into the transformed urban space in a variety of forms: residential development, precision manufacturing centers or exhibition/trade fair spaces.