Co-Creation, Maker Spaces and Micro Industrial Districts: new and alternative economic spaces




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Oxford University Press



Peer reviewed



This paper draws on the empirical example of Underbroen, Copenhagen’s maker space and “space for exploration of urban production and a meeting place for innovators and disruptors” ( Not only is Underbroen presented as a propitious creative lab, in which value is tied to co-creation and creative community (Schmidt and Brinks, 2017), its ideology and means of operation, strongly social, signals a new era in creative entrepreneurship and creative cities, tied to sustainable and plural practices; a so-called “Fab City”(

Starting from modest ‘maker space’ ambitions, Underbroen collaborates with Space 10, the IKEA-funded future living lab, to challenge prevailing ideology about the way cities organise and function; creating a new spatiality for entrepreneurship and economic organisation. The session focuses in particular on Underbroen’s more recent membership and activities, which has reinforced its role as a site of skill development and ideas (challenging the role of local universities) and its recent organisation as a mini collective (with legal entity) to bid for and supply innovative work in its own right.

Strategically, Underbroen’s development from maker space to micro industrial district and milieu, which is a place of support, place of learning, and place of local production represents an exciting development in the economic geography discourse. It signals a change in cities’ economic organisation away from traditional public sector providers and investors to the primacy of new ‘underground’ stakeholders (both Underbroen and Space 10 could be labelled as genuinely “underground” drawing on Cohendet’s (2010) work). The subtleties of such stakeholder changes, permitted in part by the vacuum created by the global financial crisis, also amounts to a new and alternative economic space (Gibson-Graham, 1996), drawing on the principles of an industrial district (see Piore and Sabel, 1984), but organised as a type of socialised third space (Soja, 1996).


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.


Maker Spaces, Creative Industries, Innovation


Granger, R.C. (2018) Co-Creation, Maker Spaces and Micro Industrial Districts: new and alternative economic spaces. Journal of Economic Geography,


Research Institute

Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC)
Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)