Industry in Motion

Industrial agglomerations have long been thought to offer economic and social benefits to firms and people that are only captured by location within their specified geographies. Using the case study of New York City’s garment industry along with data acquired from cell phones and social media, this study set out to understand the discrete activities underpinning the economic dynamics of an industrial agglomeration. Over a two week period, data was collected by employing the geo-locative capabilities of Foursquare, a social media application, to record every movement of fashion workers employed at fashion design firms located both inside and outside the geographical boundaries of New York City’s Garment District. This unique method of studying worker activity exposed the day-to-day dynamics of an industrial district with a precision thus far undocumented in literature. Our work suggests that having access to the cluster provides almost the same agglomeration economies as residing within its borders.