In Defense of Old Industrial Spaces: Manufacturing, Creativity and Innovation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


This article argues that the flexibility, creativity, and innovation deemed to be hallmarks of the new ‘creative’ economy are also present in more traditional manufacturing enclaves. Here I use examples drawn from New York City, perhaps the quintessential global city, to demonstrate that our understanding of creativity and innovation needs to recognize a broader spectrum of economic activity encompassing both new and traditional manufacturing. This case study is an attempt to expand the heteronomy of current urban policy that promotes gentrification and the wooing of the ‘creative class’ as the only method of urban development.