Switch to Full View
Nine policy recommendations to preserve urban industrial land
Eli Dile   on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

Residential encroachment is a constant threat to cities’ industrial-zoned land. Preserving space for manufacturing is important for maintaining a mix of good-paying jobs for less-skilled residents.

Perhaps no city faces more pressure on its industrial land than San Francisco, where the tech boom has created some of the world’s highest rents. The Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative offers solutions in a policy paper titled the Industrial Real Estate Toolkit (PDF). The report offers nine policy recommendations for cities that want to preserve space for local makers.

  1. Maintain an inventory of industrial lands

  2. Use zoning to designate and protect industrial areas

  3. Enforce existing industrial designations

  4. Zone for artisan manufacturing

  5. Allow other commercial uses to cross-subsidize new industrial construction

  6. Prioritize infrastructure improvements

  7. Incentivize rehabilitation of legacy industrial spaces

  8. Designate publicly owned property for protected and subsidized manufacturing space

  9. Engage with nonprofit industrial development organizations

Though some of these recommendations should come as no surprise, each is accompanied by a short case study demonstrating the policy action in practical application.


In a broader context, another part of the strategy should be to find ways to develop workforce housing and ensure that the people who live there can get transit to where the jobs are located.

We have so much surplus manufacturing space that will never be utilized, we also need to be more strategic in what manufacturing space is best situated. Connected to transit, environmentally clean, modern manufacturing space, rail and roadway connections.
Posted by: Mark Babrash on December 6, 2017 at 7:48:23 pm

Leave a Comment