The attention paid in recent years to high tech and remote workers produces a particular, narrow vision of the future, excluding those not necessarily engaged in the knowledge economy – for example, routine workers on industrial estates.
Processes of local urban transformation, viewed as regeneration, often overlook work, while drastically and rapidly impacting the lives of workers. While “levelling up” initiatives for the provision of new investment and infrastructure are organised along regional lines, highly local prosaic and place-specific factors tangibly shape how workers view the future of their work and the firms or industries that employ them.
Bristol, the site of this study, is characterised as a ‘Good Work Winner’ – with a higher than average provision of Good Work. Yet this is not a universal experience, highlighting the need for approaches which allow for and recognise granular experience of transition.
Through an in-depth case study of St. Philip’s Marsh Industrial Estate in Bristol, this study suggests that a place-based approach allows us to consider more closely the potential political consequences and challenges of everyday futures.