Advertisement

The Lean City: Citizen as Producer, Consumer, Product

  • David WeekEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The world is urbanizing rapidly. In 1950 the urban population stood at 751 million. In 2018, it was 4.2 billion—55% of the world’s population. The Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts that by 2050, 2.5 billion people will have been added to the urban population, for a total of 6.7 billion, representing 68% of the world population. Sustainable development depends increasingly on the successful management of this urban growth (World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision [Key Facts], 2018). A complicating factor is that urban structure is inelastic. Transport corridors, property lines, and buildings are all long-lived objects. Urban development decisions made today will be felt for decades. Lean thinking and lean production constitute a direction in thinking about production. Lean is a focus on value as defined by the customer, not the producer. Lean focuses on reducing waste, rather than maximizing utilization of labor capital. Lean organization is oriented towards shop-floor continuous improvement, rather than radical and risky global redesigns. Both objectives of better value for the new city-dwellers, and reduced waste, seem well suited to the application of lean to the city. The city is an urban form which produces value for the citizens who live there. Central planning in which citizens are managed by experts are sometimes unpopular, and plans are regularly overridden by politics. Funds are never available to meet demand, and therefore wasted funds are a lost opportunity. Cities are being continuously rebuilt and remodeled. But lean is as yet under applied to the production of cities. Applying lean production and management can help move cities past apparently intractable problems due to 19th century central planning and mass production. Lean offers the potential to enable citizens and city managers to direct their energies in more valuable and low-waste directions. This paper explores how lean provides new perspectives by applying each of its five principles to management of city growth and operations.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Margaret Hazeltine, former CEO of Mars Australia, for introducing me to lean thinking fifteen years ago; David Ashmore for introducing me to concepts of urban transportation; Tanzil Shafique for being my co-investigator into the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari; both David Ashmore and Tanzil Shafique for critical readings of this paper; Farida Fleming for editorial oversight and mentoring; Kim Dovey for DMA, city assemblages, and guitar sessions. This paper could not have been written without their influence. Its shortcomings and errors are all my own.

References

  1. aeroSCAPE. (2013). 20th century concepts for 21st century airports. Retrieved from https://aeroscape.org/2013/10/28/20th-century-concepts-for-21st-century-airports/.
  2. Alexander, C. (1967). The city as a mechanism for sustaining human contact. In W. R. Ewald, Jr. (Ed.), Environment for man: The next fifty years (pp. 60–102). American Institute of Planners Conference, Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ballon, H., & Museum of the City of New York. (2012). The greatest grid: The master plan of Manhattan, 1811–2011. Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY. New York, NY and Chichester: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. BBC. (2017). Apology after Japanese train departs 20 seconds early. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42009839.
  5. Bissel, D. (2018). Transit life: How commuting is transforming our cities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boeing, G. (2017). Urban form analysis with OpenStreetMap data. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://geoffboeing.com/2017/04/urban-form-analysis-openstreetmap/.
  7. Bogdanor, V. (1999). Devolution: Decentralisation or disintegration. Political Quarterly, 70, 185–194.Google Scholar
  8. Bolland, J., & Ashmore, D. (2002). Traffic peak spreading in congested urban environments. In Proceedings from 25th Australasian Transport Research Forum.Google Scholar
  9. Brinberg, D., & Wood, R. (1983). A resource exchange theory analysis of consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 10(3), 330–338.  https://doi.org/10.1086/208972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Capdevila, I., & Zarlenga, M. I. (2015). Smart city or smart citizens? The Barcelona case. Journal of Strategy and Management, 8(3), 266–282. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Matias_Zarlenga/publication/277180909_Smart_City_or_smart_citizens_The_Barcelona_case/links/5564415b08ae86c06b6983d9.pdf.
  11. Chatterjee, B. (2009). Lean sustainability: Extending the operational excellence paradigm. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.rdmag.com/article/2009/06/lean-sustainability-extending-operational-excellence-paradigm.
  12. Christensen, C. M., Dillon, K., Hall, T., & Duncan, D. S. (2016). Competing against luck: The story of innovation and customer choice (1st ed.). New York: HarperBusiness.Google Scholar
  13. Clark, A. E., & D’Ambrosio, C. (2013). Attitudes to income inequality: Experimental and survey evidence. In A. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (Eds.), Handbook of income distribution (Vol. 2A). Elsevier. Retrieved from http://www.parisschoolofeconomics.com/clark-andrew/ChapterNov232013.pdf.
  14. Dobbs, R., Remes, J., & Smit, S. (2011). The world’s new growth frontier: Midsize cities in emerging markets. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/urbanization/the-worlds-new-growth-frontier-midsize-cities-in-emerging-markets.
  15. Douglas, G. C. C. (2018). The help-yourself city: Legitimacy and inequality in DIY urbanism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Dovey, K. (2016). Urban design thinking: A conceptual toolkit. London: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  17. Dovey, K., & Pafka, E. (2016). What makes a city tick? Designing the ‘urban DMA’. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://theconversation.com/what-makes-a-city-tick-designing-the-urban-dma-67227.
  18. Duhigg, C., & Bradsher, K. (2012). How the U.S. lost out on iPhone work. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html.
  19. Eight Hour Day Monument. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/social/display/32235-eight-hour-day-monument.
  20. Eustice, K. A. (2009). Lean thinking. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/careers/lean-eradicating-waste.
  21. Fuchs, C., & Trottier, D. (2013). The Internet as surveilled workplayplace and factory. In European data protection: Coming of age (pp. 33–57). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5170-5_2.
  22. Garreau, J. (1992). Edge city: Life on the new frontier (Anchor Books) (Reprint ed.). Anchor.Google Scholar
  23. Georg, I., Blaschke, T., & Taubenböck, H. (2016). New spatial dimensions of global cityscapes: From reviewing existing concepts to a conceptual spatial approach. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 26(3), 355–380. Retrieved from http://www.geogsci.com/article/2016/1009-637X/38426.
  24. Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  25. Glaeser, E. L. (2010). Introduction. In E. L. Glaeser (Ed.), Agglomeration economics (pp. 1–14). The University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/books/glae08-1.
  26. Goldratt, E. M., & Cox, J. (2004). The goal: A process of ongoing improvement. Great Barrington, MA: North River Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hammer, M., Rutten, P., & Somers, K. (2014). Bringing lean thinking to energy. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/bringing-lean-thinking-to-energy.
  28. Helmreich, W. B. (2018). The manhattan nobody knows: An Urban walking guide. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hoornweg, D., Sugar, L., Freire, M., Anderson, C., Bhada, P., Trejos, C. L., Dave, R., & Lee, M. (2010). Cities and climate change: An urgent agenda. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Retrieved from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTUWM/Resources/340232-1205330656272/CitiesandClimateChange.pdf.
  30. Jhally, S. (2007). The factory in the living room [video]. https://vimeo.com/36491486.
  31. Jhally, S., & Livant, B. (1986). Watching as working: The valorization of audience consciousness. Journal of Communication, 36(3), 124–143.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1986.tb01442.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lang, R., & Knox, P. K. (2009). The new metropolis: Rethinking megalopolis. Regional Studies, 43(6), 789–802. Retrieved from https://is.muni.cz/el/1423/jaro2016/SOC569/um/RegionalStudies_2009_43_6_LangKnox_NewMetropolis.pdf.
  33. Leite, H. D. R., & Vieira, G. E. (2015). Lean philosophy and its applications in the service industry: A review of the current knowledge. Production, 25(3), 529–541.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-6513.079012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Locher, D. (2008). Lean thinking in the office. Retail Environments, 22–26. Retrieved from http://cma4results.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/AREArticle.pdf.
  35. Lydon, M., & Garcia, A. (2015). Tactical urbanism. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  36. Marcolli, M. (2009). The notion of space in mathematics. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://www.its.caltech.edu/~matilde/SpaceMath.pdf.
  37. Meyerson, D. (2004). The rule of law and the separation of powers. Macquarie Law Journal, 4, 1–6. Retrieved from http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MqLawJl/2004/1.html.
  38. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pearson, K. A. (2005). The reality of the virtual: Bergson and Deleuze. Comparative Literature Issue, 120(5), 1112–1127. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3840700.
  40. Purcell, M. (2013). A new land: Deleuze and Guattari and planning. Planning Theory & Practice, 14(1), 20–38.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2012.761279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sambinelli, F., & Borges, M. A. F. (2017). Lean thinking in software engineering: A systematic review. International Journal of Software Engineering & Applications, 8(3). Retrieved from http://aircconline.com/ijsea/V8N3/8317ijsea02.pdf.
  42. Sapountzis, S., & Kagioglou, M. (2007). Applications of lean thinking: A briefing document. Retrieved from http://usir.salford.ac.uk/18410/1/2007_Sapountzis_Applications_of_Lean_Thinking_A_briefing_Document_Feb_2007.pdf.
  43. SGS. (2015). Effective job density: Comparing our cities and regions. Retrieved December 17, 2018, from https://www.sgsep.com.au/publications/effective-job-density-comparing-our-cities-and-regions.
  44. Signage Control System. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://www.bd.gov.hk/english/services/index_signboards_scs.html.
  45. Takt Time. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/takt-time/.
  46. The lighter, quicker, cheaper transformation of public spaces. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.pps.org/article/lighter-quicker-cheaper.
  47. Tomlinson, R., & Spiller, M. (2018). Australia’s metropolitan imperative: An agenda for governance reform. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing.Google Scholar
  48. Urban and rural population in developed and less developed regions. (2017). Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/urban-and-rural-population-in.
  49. Venkatasubramanian, V., Luo, Y., & Sethuraman, J. (2015). How much inequality in income is fair? A microeconomic game theoretic perspective. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 435, 120–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Week, D. (2016). Devolved commons governance for cities. In J. M. Ramos (Ed.), The city as commons: A policy reader (pp. 80–85). Melbourne: Commons Transition Coalition.Google Scholar
  51. Womack, J. P., & Jones, D. T. (2003). Lean thinking: Banish waste and create wealth in your corporation. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  52. Womack, J. P., Jones, D. T., & Roos, D. (1990). The machine that changed the world: How Japan’s secret weapon in the global auto wars will revolutionize western industry. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  53. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision [Key Facts]. (2018). Retrieved December 16, 2018, from https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/Publications/Files/WUP2018-KeyFacts.pdf.
  54. Yi, Y., & Gong, T. (2009). An integrated model of customer social exchange relationship: The moderating role of customer experience. The Service Industries Journal, 29(11), 1513–1528.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02642060902793474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yiftachel, O. (2016). The Aleph—Jerusalem as critical learning. City, 20(3), 483–494.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2016.1166702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Architecture, Building and PlanningUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations