Industrial Legacy Hub

Empowering cities with an industrial legacy across the world to foster inclusive urban transitions through implementing circular approaches

About the Industrial Legacy Hub

The Industrial Legacy Hub is a space for cities with an industrial legacy to exchange knowledge and learnings on transformative urban policies and projects. Established through the Urban Transitions Alliance project with support from the Stiftung Mercator, the hub connects industrial legacy cities to identify common challenges and good practices to successfully guide their green and just transitions. Severe job loss in legacy sectors and ongoing disinvestment that primarily impacted former worker’s neighborhoods have led to social inequality as a major transition challenge. Having faced environmental, economic and social crises, industrial legacy cities are champions in reinventing themselves and turning challenges into opportunities. The Industrial Legacy Hub is guided by their joint vision of well-managed transitions towards a sustainable future, which centers on a healthy environment and just opportunities for their citizens. Cities involved can benefit from support through exchanges with local government peers, partners and technical experts.

Priorities of the Industrial Legacy Hub

  • Circularity

    Applying circular approaches to sustainable urban development in industrial legacy cities offers the opportunity to repurpose existing buildings and infrastructure and rethink their use. It also enables citizens to engage in more sustainable livelihoods through adopting circular business models.

  • Climate action

    A growing political consensus is forming globally that climate action needs to systematically incorporate social equity considerations. Industrial legacy cities have been integrating equity frameworks into their climate planning and developing innovative tools and approaches to ensure implementation. In all cases, collaboration with residents and local stakeholders is a key component to ensure that different needs are considered, and no one is left behind on the path to more climate-friendly urban environments.

  • Social equity

    Internationally, the notion that the sustainable transition needs to be socially just and equitable is a growing consensus. In industrial legacy cities, this plays out on the city and neighborhood levels, where ongoing disinvestment has led to social inequality, and reskilling workers as well as integrating marginalized communities are major transition challenges. This is where circularity comes in to ensure a fair distribution of resources and infrastructures. Circular approaches to the use of space in these neighborhoods enable resource-efficient development pathways, and the adoption of circular business models can offer new livelihood and investment opportunities for affected communities.