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This paper aims at identifying the direction for more sustainable development of the use of concrete in road infrastructure in an industrialised context.
The increase in the global mean temperature is one of the most severe challenges today. The concrete industry is responsible for significant emissions of greenhouse gases, most attributable to cement production. However, concrete is one of the most important building materials in the world and indispensable for the societal development in countries at all development stages. Thus, the concrete industry needs to take measures for reducing emissions.
This paper investigates possible directions for the development of the concrete industry, to reduce climatic impact and accommodate positive societal growth. The investigation is carried out as a SWOT analysis, focusing on three terms dominating the present discussion on any development within the construction industry; sustainability, industrialisation and digitalisation. The result is a thorough discussion and a set of recommendations for the direction of future research and innovation on sustainable use of concrete in the construction of road infrastructure. The major opportunities and threats are summarised in the conclusions, and future research to be carried out in two of the authors’ PhD-projects are described.
In the last 30 years the global supply chains and containerization transformed the world of production and stretched it across the globe. With the exodus of Process and Assembly (P&A) segment of industrial production from the developed countries, the “global north” not only lost the production capacity itself, but more importantly, the know-how in making that is a basis of industrial culture.
The neoliberal attitudes in industrial production were the main force behind slow but persistent abandonment of the automotive industry in Detroit, or closing down of the coal and iron industry in the Ruhr region in Germany. Contemporary urban renewal strategies of industrial areas rely on injection of tourism based on design, popular art, cultural and leisure activities, like the Emscher Landschaftspark in Ruhr region, Germany. However, tourism-based redevelopment is economically questionable in small industrial towns. For such areas we need to envision alternative agencies that industrial past and industrial production can offer. One of the most underrated aspects of industrial production is the know-how imbedded in the P&A segment of industrial process. We argue for the industrial production know-how as a relevant part of the new innovation economy of small towns and of the local culture. This paper will trace the capacity of industrial production for culture-making by referring to production-innovation models described in regional geography. Firstly the paper identifies the P&A know-how worth reshoring. Secondly, it describes two models of neo-industrialization in order to thirdly identify a new hybrid type of a regional model and its culture.
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industrialization period at the turn of the 20 th century. Most scholars agree that regional specialization and national integration were not dichotomous phenomena at that time, and instead emphasize that increasing regional specialization depended on concomitant processes of intra- and inter-regional integration ( Gregory 1990 ). Some previous research, however, does not clarify how—and through whom—these two processes were accomplished; in this context, the role of human agencies, which linked production with markets and distribution in practice, is critical, because the
1 Introduction Industrial towns are rarely the focus of geographic research. This is mainly because the first decade of the 21st century was marked by the rise of the digital and media economy, or the new “post-industrial economy” ( Flew, 2010 ). Celebration of the services-based “new economy” was a result of the de-industrialisation of cities and regions in the Global North that led policy-makers and urban researchers to a desperate search for the new post-industrial future ( Miles, 2005 ). Some authors noted that the reduction of “smoke-stack industries” will