Bright future for black towns: reinventing European industrial towns and challenging dominant post-industrial discourses

Project objective is to develop place-specific strategies for industrial towns in Europe by respecting their strengths, needs and expectations. We are interested in assets and strengths of case studies leading to new social innovations and enabling small towns to adapt, to be resilient, and to be sustainable. Those innovations are the key project outcome and streamlining them into planning practice is important. The project affects small towns that are trying to adapt to urban change by understanding of how cities dependent on manufacturing can thrive in the future and by understanding their economic, cultural and social dynamics. Research has a strong trans-disciplinary focus involving non-academic participants.

Atlas of industry and industrial towns in Europe
BRIGHT FUTURE have developed an Atlas of industry and industrial towns in Europe which provides an interactive, user-friendly geographical overview of different dimensions of industry in Europe. It offers an opportunity to create at least 30 maps on different spatial levels, from national to European. It can also offer insight into various possible typologies and issues of small and medium-sized industrial towns. Its aim is to promote the importance of conducting social and cultural research of industrial towns in order to better understand their evolution and plan their future. This is an ongoing progress, so the contents of this web application will be constantly updated. Potential users of this application are students, policy makers and professionals.

The application is available at the following link:


Duration: 2017–2020
Contact Dr. David Bole
Budget: 1.313.222 EUR
Partners: Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, University of Eastern Finland, University of Amsterdam, University of Bucharest, Social Life Limited, The Young Foundation




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European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.