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Can you hear the Voices from the Sleeping Giants?

08 March 2018

More than 400 people: URBACT Local group members, politicians and technicians of the 11 cities involved in the project 2nd Chance, gave their contribution working together on the topic of the reactivation of the vacant building complexes studing the possibilities to waking up their Sleeping Giants. Starting from the meaning of the term "Reactivation" an animation video wants to explore and summarize the main topics of the Network 2nd Chance.

The video tells the story of the sharing of knowledge and the comparison of ideas between the citizens, technicians and political representatives during the 30 months of network activity on the main topics of the project: How to reactivate the huge void building complexes? What is the impact of the reactivation on the city? How we can act (as a collectivity) using the participative approach to make our dreams come true? Wich kind of co-design strategies may we use to produce a shared knowledge? 

This video is a result of a teamwok and of a collaboration between the 11 cities, Partners of the 2nd Chance Network, and Strategic Design Scenarios on a common understanding in the definition of strategies for the reactivation of voids in the city.

Reactivating the Sleeping Giants means…

The 2nd Chance project aim to define actions, strategies and ideas for the Reactivation of the Vacant Buildings. What does "Reactivating" the Sleeping Giants means in the framework of the actual urban development dynamics?

Reactivating vacant sites and buildings means rediscovering and enlightening an abandoned heritage, architectural but also cultural and human. The reactivation, if successful, is thus a way to conciliate the past, the present and the future of the city.

The Reactivation is an alternative to new constructions of buildings and infrastructures, to make our urban development more sustainable without using more lands. It is also the opportunity to recreate a cohesive, lively and fluid city, without urban barriers or frontiers. But we need new tools and innovative legal instruments.

Implementing reactivation projects of the vacant and abandoned sites of the city will allow the citizens to participate to the urban life and dynamics. In the context of today, with rapidly changing dynamics, it is imperative that the city acts as a facilitator.

What is the impact of the Reactivation of the Sleeping Giants on the city?

The Reactivation of the Sleeping Giants has an impact on the Neighborhoods, but also on the Actors and City Users, how is possible to measure this impact, and why it is so important in the Reactivation process?

The regeneration of the sleeping giant with new functions and uses should be directed to the removal of the barrier that an urban huge void buildings represent in the urban environment. From a social point of view it can be a strategic way for the redevelopment of the neighborhood: a black hole that will disappear to leave a better environment.

The reactivation of the sleeping giants will mean a positive impact in a transversal way for the whole city. The participative process produces an encouraging resolute, making the building in a future neuralgic point in the city, involving culture, enterprise, business and creation, causing in an indirect way the creation of employment. Thus, by rehabilitating abandoned space, it is all the city that becomes more accessible, enjoyable and attractive.

Reactivating vacant buildings has biggest impact on inhabitants, since all these venues and sites are potential community centers where people of all generations are enjoying new possibilities and all the inhabitants can benefit out of it.The project introduces an opportunity to generate a synergy of city actors to work together in the reactivation of the sleeping giants, the iconic building to this project. In conclusion the regeneration of vacant buildings brings a lot of benefits in different aspects, that improve the urban development of the city.

Is the Reactivation of the Sleeping Giants an Utopia?

The involvement of the citizens in the reactivation of the Sleeping giants produce Dreams, Expectations, Wishes, social value that we have to take into account. Is the Reactivation of the urban voids an Utopia? How we can act as a collectivity using the participative approach to make our dreams come true?

The social value in the reactivation process is huge and directly related to the high expectations that people have on it. In a certain way we can also say that there is a reversal in the relation between container and what is contained. So the target building represents an opportunity to develop the neighborhood for the benefit of the common goods, within the interest of the people needs.

 We hope that in the end the reactivation the sleeping giants could become an innovative beacon in the quarter, bringing life and new people to the neighborhood, attract artists and technicians.  We hope that the action plan can be seen help to make possible this utopia. We trust in the development of this process.

The overriding objective is  to jointly set up the integrated action plan, to define it and ultimately implement it in a collaborative and integrated way: from urban regeneration to sustainability and environment and to participation with co-design. Act as a collectivity means also the elaboration of interests and conflicts, this is important at in early stage in order to reach a common goal of all actors. The use of different formats and participatory procedures (as for example the use of „care-takers“ in focus areas) makes a significant contribution to participation and feedback in the administration.

Listen the voice of the citizens to co-design the strategy

The dialogue between institution and citizens is extremely important, and it plays a fundamental role in the in the URBACT Programme and in the 2nd chance Project itself. The co-design is the challenge…

We strongly believe that it is necessary to co-build the cityIn order to do that the local administrations have to listen the voice of the citizens, it is the key of the success of reactivation projects. Nevertheless, it is also necessary to keep their expectations realistic, giving answer to their questions. To deal with this challenge it is important to involve experts, like architects and engineers, and the stakeholders in the consultative process

In the Reactivation is really important collect a group of activists from different levels including political one and convince them such projects are crucial for sustainable development of the city. This is a very difficult tasks. But sometimes one may say – impossible but doable!

What is important of the URBACT approach is the feeling of freedom of speech and being listened, which enables one to create, as well as the feeling to have brought something innovative to the project. The European & cosmopolitan aspects of this adventure is essential. We feel as if we have been part of a huge citizenship workshop at the European scale

How to involve owners of the Sleeping Giants?

The role of the “owner” of the Sleeping Giants is crucial in the decision making process. Involve them in the collaborative working group together with citizens and institutions is the key of the success…

The role of the “owner” of the Sleeping Giants is crucial in the decision making process. Involving them in the collaborative working group together with citizens and institutions is the key of the success…

In the Reactivation process one of the main focus is to balance the city´s urban development interests with those of the private owner and to find a common denominator for the further reuse of the building.

A multi-stakeholder working group, which gathers both private and public entities, has a very positive impact on the success of the project. Involving all the stakeholders in the public discussion enable to have a good understanding of everyone’s needs and expectations. 

The Integrated Action Plan, as a tool, drives the process balancing the power of the actors involved!

 

The 2nd chance project introduces an opportunity to generate a synergy of city actors to work together in the reactivation of the sleeping giants, the iconic building of this project. In conclusion the regeneration of vacant buildings brings a lot of benefits in different aspects, improving the urban development of the city, involving all the stakeholders in the public discussion through a good understanding of everyone’s needs and expectations.

click to see the video!