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A Journey Through Temporary Use

Edited on

17 May 2018
Read time: 1 minute

REFILL's Final Publication shows how the Temporary Use of vacant spaces spurs innovation on a local level.

Over the past few decades, many cities have experimented with finding Temporary Uses for abandoned or neglected spaces and buildings. Their experiences serve as a source of inspiration and change in other cities where Temporary Use can act as a driver and incubator for urban development.

What is Temporary Use?

Many of the initiatives at the onset of these experiments have a bottom-up structure. Some are SMEs, artists or craftsmen, organisations looking for meeting space or cultural initiatives. Others are residents who maintain plots of land or initiatives for urban farming, and yet others manage a community centre or are looking for new forms of mobility.

In some cities, grassroots organisations started experimenting with Temporary Use with little political or administrative intervention. Elsewhere, local authorities have actively looked for ways to facilitate this movement.

Freedom for urban development

“Normal” rules do not apply to Temporary Use, leading to an unusual freedom from the constraints of mainstream management or exploitation of spaces. What looks like a no man’s land one moment, is transformed the next into something new and exciting, a way to see the city from a new perspective. Freedom leads to inspiration, and inspiration to innovation.

What's in this final publication?

This publication compiles findings of the REFILL network. It is more manual than report, meant not to gather dust in a drawer but to inspire a wider audience and be actively used. Read it any way you wish: from beginning to end or in short bursts wherever it falls open. You will find it chock full of experiences from other cities, inspirational cases and examples, lessons learnt and recommendations for tools and policies.

How to use the roadmap

Fold open the included roadmap to explore key steps towards temporary use. Pick those
stops that appeal to you and apply to your own context, plan your trip and start your journey towards temporary use! The map guides you through the tools in this publication, provided by the REFILL network.


Happy reading!

Download the REFILL Final Publication

Download the REFILL Roadmap

Take a look at the Final Conference webpage or watch the aftermovie: