One of the questions asked at the symposium in London was with regard to the feasibility of re-introducing heavy industry into cities. One of the responses to this was that much of heavy industry is antiquated and that technology is changing this. There was much discussion on use classification with the suggestion that perhaps use should be classified by its environmental impact (noise, emissions etc).
An example of an industry that, through technological advances, has altered its environmental impact (at least on the site of production – for now let’s not get into the off-site resource demands) is the car industry. Volkswagon’s ‘Transparent Car Factory’ in Dresden is attempting to reintegrate a site of production with a site of consumption. The production line extends to the urban scale (through transportation of components along public tram lines) and consumption is brought into the factory (through onsite customer visits as well as public tours).
This video is worth a watch.