Who really wants to live right next door to a factory? Well, that depends entirely on the factory, say the experts from the Urban Factory Lab, and explain how factory production can function in the heart of the city.
“Too loud, too dirty, too dangerous!” That is, in fact, what most people think of manufacturing companies in the inner city, according to a survey conducted by the RWTH Aachen’s Chair of Economic Geography between 2016 and 2019. And although the intertwining of the worlds of work and daily life can pose some problems, manufacturing in urban locations does have a lot of advantages. Shorter transport routes to customers, less travel for workers and for logistics providers – and all that, in turn, means less noise, less traffic and lower emissions.
From steel mill to e.GO
This also applies to Aachen, claim the “Made in Aachen” (MIA) team. MIA offers a tour round the so-called Urban Factory Lab in the Rothe Erde district. Equipped with a tablet and a corresponding app, you set off to explore this district in Aachen’s northeast, which was formerly dominated by heavy industry. An expert tells you about the bygone days when 19th-century workers would come in on foot from the Eifel to Hüttenstraße in Rothe Erde to work and overnight for a whole week at a time. Fortunately, such arrangements no longer apply to the employees of Continental and e.GO, the companies that are currently manufacturing in Rothe Erde. The worlds of work and daily life in Aachen’s northeast today are right next to each other. And no-one is getting fogged up in their gardens by filthy smoke belching forth from factory chimneys.
The e.GO factory, which opened just recently – in 2018 – is both employee friendly and environmentally friendly. It covers all its energy requirements from its own photovoltaic systems. It raises the prestige of the neighbourhood with its modern architecture. And it is committed to using qualified technicians from the region. No wonder, then, that the e.GO factory in Hüttenstraße is being hailed as a prime example of “Best Practice” in urban production. So, e.GO, welcome to the neighbourhood!
The next Urban Factory Lab Tour will take place on 24th May.
The last tour will take place on 28th June.
Urban Factory Lab: A digital and analogue tour of Rothe Erde, on which you are acquainted with the advantages of manufacturing industries in the city – and the survey results regarding this issue – and, through the example of e.GO, are given an illustration of how urban manufacturing and daily life can be brought into harmony with each other.
MIA – Made in Aachen: A research project of the Urban Economic Development Programme initiated in 2016 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of its funding programme “Sustainable Transformation of Urban Spaces”. The aim of the project is to investigate potential designs for urban production. Besides the Urban Factory Lab, the project envisages further measures, for example expert groups and scientific publications. For more details, visit .