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Feasibility Studies and Tools to Reactivate the Sleeping Giants

24 March 2017

The topic of use of feasibility study was the main theme discussed during the second thematic meeting of the 2nd chance Network held in Chemnitz. The meeting was the occasion to present to the 2nd Chance partners the target area of Chemnitz’ Action Plan and to discuss some interesting Good Practices as the Alternative Housing and Cultural Project for the reuse of the buildings. After the success of the Second meeting in Chemnitz the 2nd chance Partners are ready to attend the Third Thematic meeting on "Involving of the stakeholders for the reactivation of vacant buildings and sites" that will be held the 28th and 29th of March in Porto.

The second thematic meeting in Chemnitz was the occasion to discuss on the topic of assessment of the practicality of a proposed project. In terms of reactivation of the 2nd Chance giant vacant buildings, feasibility studies can be used for different purposes and at different moments in the reactivation process. In general the feasibility study allows understanding better the current situation of the building, the physical and economical adaptability for new uses and its limits as well as comparing different usage and reactivation options for better decision making and sustainable solutions.

The presentations and workshop concentrated on four main issues, whose results are summarised in the II Thematic Meeting Report: Possible objectives and possible content of a feasibility study, Elaboration and Use of the feasibility studies in the further reactivation process. Good-practice examples of feasibility studies have been presented in order to focus on the topic: Rough checks in the federal state of Brandenburg, Liverpool City – Feasibility study for the Wellington Rooms, and The Green Book: Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government, a publication that presents the techniques and issues that should be considered when carrying out assessments or appraisals of projects.

The meeting was the occasion to present to the 2nd Chance partners the target area of Chemnitz’ Action Plan .The area is the former “Spinning Works” (Spinnereimaschinenbau) in Altchemnitz, 4.7 ha. It is a private property, bought by the current owner in 2013. He has the intention to develop the target site and bring the buildings back in use; this in a step-by-step process, appropriate to his financial capacities. First rehabilitation works have started for spaces, for which a user/renter has been found. This area could provide space for a variety of commercial and cultural uses, for example for independent contractors, selfemployed workers, university spin-offs, cultural, art and night life activities. Further the reactivation of the target area could be used to link the area with its surrounding, in particular with the very close by technical university and its students houses. The city has developed a development concept for the Altchemnitz neighbourhood, in which the target area is situated. In this concept the revitalisation of the former industrial estate Altchemnitz has a high priority. In addition a neighbourhood manager for Altchemnitz was appointed.

In order to focus on the theme of the meeting some interesting Good Practices were presented. One of the most interesting is the Alternative Housing and Cultural Project for the reuse of the buildings that is called “Kompott". It provides space for collaborative housing and cultural projects like a reading café with regular movie nights, readings and discussions; studios and artist’s (work)shops and exhibitions; a for-free store for retro couture and an event space with a welfare kitchen, table-tennis and DJ-workshop and a community garden. The project finance itself, the rehabilitation and maintenance of the building, by asking for a (low) rent of the people that live and use the building and by rending the event space. 

After the successfull event in Chemnitz the 2nd chance Partners are ready to attend the Third meeting in Porto that will be the occasion to discuss about the Involving of the stakeholders for the reactivation of vacant buildings and sites. The appointment is on the 28th and 29th of March at District...