Habitat Unit

2016-2019
Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Anke Hagemann, Elke Beyer

Transnational Production Spaces

A multi-local study on the impacts of the global clothing industry on urban spaces and urban planning. 

The worldwide production of goods is increasingly organized within transnational production networks. Regions with very different conditions and resources are connected through complex and highly dynamic production processes based on an international division of labour. The resulting integration in global production systems not only affects local economies, but also the built environment and urban development of the respective places of production.

This research project explores the spatial effects of industrial production and the role of urban planning at different locations of a transnational production network of the clothing industry. It traces the interplay of local and transnational forces in the spatial and physical development of these production locations. Harnessing the research approaches of Global Commodity Chains and Global Production Networks for a multi-local and multi-scalar analysis of urban spaces, it is our aim to investigate the translocal character of urban production places and thus to contribute to the emerging research field of transnational urbanity.

In the medium term, research at Habitat Unit will explore a range of case studies from various industrial sectors and production regions – following the industrial goods in their transnational production and distribution processes in order to investigate diverse production networks and their interplay with spatial structures and urban development. 

Case Study

Our case study focuses on selected industrial locations in Turkey, Bulgaria, Ethiopia and Jordan which are connected by a production network of the clothing industry supplying Western European fashion companies and markets. The study locations subsequently became target destinations for the relocation of specific production stages or entire segments of production. The core study focuses on clothing production for the European market in the Istanbul metropolitan region. Here, a gradual de-centralization of production from inner-city areas has taken place, including the relocation of large scale industrial operations to the western neighbouring province of Tekirdağ. In the last two decades, producers from Turkey have also partially transferred production to an expanding range of international offshoring destinations in Eastern Europe, the MENA region, Central Asia and most recently, East Africa. Our study investigates such industrial locations and their specific contexts in Bulgaria (Kardzhali), Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) or Jordan (Zarqa). Within the context of transnational economic dynamics, our research traces how industrial production shapes the physical urban space and drives urban development in these locations, thereby also exploring its interplay with urban and regional planning governance.

The project addresses the principal question how urban spaces of industrial production are constituted at different stations of a transnational production network and what kind of forces are taking effect on them – from local to global ranges of influence. Our research takes materialities as its point of departure – highly mobile commodities and their production on the one hand and the built structures of urban space on the other hand. By combining an analysis of the built environment and qualitative analysis of planning governance, the research project aims to build an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of spatial negotiations and the role, scope and leverage of the different actors involved – from the local to the global scale, between bottom-up and top-down drivers of urban development, and at the intersections between formal and informal economic and building practices.  

The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under grant agreement No MI 1893/2-1.

Academic Partners+

Advisory Board:

Prof. em. Dr. Peter Herrle (TU Berlin, Habitat Unit/Fachgebiet Internationaler Städtebau)
Prof. Dr. Martina Löw (TU Berlin, Institut für Soziologie, Fachgebiet für Planungs- und Architektursoziologie)
Prof. Dr. Christoph Parnreiter (Universität Hamburg, Institut für Geographie)
Prof. Dr. Gernot Grabher (HCU Hamburg, Arbeitsgebiet Stadt- und Regionalökonomie)

 

Project advisors:

Prof. Ayse Bugra, PhD (Bogazici Universität, Istanbul)
Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenc (Istanbul Studies Center, Kadir Has University, Istanbul)
Dr. Poli Roukova (National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia)

 

Research Consultants and Guest Researchers:

Dr. Pelin Olcay (Lecturer, Istanbul Arel University, Architecture Department)
Ilkim Er (Architect, Berlin/Istanbul)
Ina Valkanova (Architect, Plovdiv)
Melaku Tanku Gebremariam (Lecturer, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and Development (EIABC), Addis Ababa University)

 

Publications+

Anke Hagemann, Elke Beyer (2016) Patchwork Urbanism – Transnationale Räume der Bekleidungsproduktion in der Region Istanbul, dérive (63).

Anke Hagemann (2015) From Flagship Store to Factory: Tracing the Spaces of Transnational Clothing Production in Istanbul, Articulo - Journal of Urban Research (12)

Anke Hagemann (2015) Räumliche Arbeitsteilung. Städtische Raumproduktion in der Bekleidungsindustrie am Beispiel Istanbul / Spatial division of labour. The production of urban space in Istanbul’s clothing industry, In: Banz, C. and Schulze, S., Fast Fashion. Die Schattenseite der Mode (exhibition catalogue), Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Events and conference papers+

2017

Elke Beyer: Cuts and Seams: Urban Effects of Transnational Clothing Production in South-East Bulgaria from the 1980s to the present, The Ins and Outs of Socialism: Visions and Experiences of Urban Change in the Second World, Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv, August 25-27, 2017.

Anke Hagemann: Spatial re-association: Researching urban built environments along transnational production processes, American Association of Geographers, Annual Meeting, Boston, April 2017. 

Transnational Production Spaces. Workshop, Habitat Unit, TU Berlin, February 2017.

 

2016

Anke Hagemann: Where were my clothes made? Tracing the spaces of transnational clothing production in Istanbul, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016, London, September 2016.

Anke Hagemann: Spatial effects of global production networks: urban upgrading and the relocation of industry in Turkey’s globalized clothing production, Global Production Networks and Social Upgrading: Labour and Beyond, Brown International Advanced Research Institute (Brown University) & Global Development Institute (University of Manchester), Manchester, May 2016.

Contact+

Anke Hagemann
anke.hagemann@tu-berlin.de

Elke Beyer
e.beyer@tu-berlin.de

Ilkim Er, guest researcher (since October 2016)
Rucha Kelkar, intern/research assistant (March-October 2017)
Ayşe Merve Altınsoy, intern/research assistant (March-May 2017)

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