Urban Planning and Real Estate Development

By John Ratcliffe; Michael Stubbs et al. | Go to book overview
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17

Industrial development
Low unemployment and interest rates, changing industrial processes, new technology and new ways of working have all combined to require a reconsideration by both public and private sector agencies involved in the production of industrial and business development properties in respect of what they build, where and for whom. The 1980s witnessed a transformation in both the location and property requirements of modern industries because of decline in traditional manufacturing and growth in the service sector. The 1990s saw globalization and radical changes in information and communication technology. In the new millennium we are seeing a continued contraction of the manufacturing sector, the increasing dominance of the service sector, and major advances in the integration of information and communication technology in the manufacture, assembly, storage, sale and delivery of goods and services.Figures for 2001-2 amply illustrate the changing patterns of employment (similar patterns are apparent for previous years) (Table 17.1).The dominance of the service sector can also be seen in changes in the contribution to GDP (Index: 1995-100) (Table 17.2).In this way, it has been projected that by 2005 the manufacturing workforce will have fallen to 4 million, having halved from 8 million in 1971. The industrial real estate market is on the threshold of revolutionary change. The efficiency of traditional distribution centre sizes, locations and designs will become increasingly questioned in a market where new logistics processes are allowing shorter product cycles, lower inventory levels and faster turn around (Jones Lang LaSalle 1999).In terms of the broad characteristics of modern industry, research has concluded that:
The shift in economic activity from manufacturing industry to the information and service sectors has changed the types of sites and buildings required for modern industry.
These emerging sectors are concerned with mental skills-the applications of specialist knowledge-rather than manual skills. This loosens traditional ties and generates new demands-in particular to provide a 'people' rather than machine environment, resulting in a specification more akin to an office than a factory.
To meet market demands and keep abreast of the latest technology these sectors are also concerned with producing limited product runs of

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