The REFILL project connects 10 local governments and institutions on the issue of long-term effects of temporary use of vacant spaces.
During the meeting in Ghent on 17-19 February 2016, the partners were introduced to each other during a poster session. It brought together different stories about their cities regarding temporary use. Each partner was given five examples of best practices from a different city, enabling long-but-fruitful conversations aimed at determining key aspects, pros/cons of specific cases and guidelines for temporary-use practices.
Some examples of the presented cases:
The City of Poznań (Poland) presented for instance the case of Lazarz’s Open Zone for Culture, a project of regeneration to create a cultural district and improve the quality of public spaces.
The City of Riga (Latvia) showed off its map-based internet tool where people can signal degraded property and vote for the reconstruction of it.
The City of Ostrava (Czech Republic) commented on CoolTour, a launchpad for young local artists. Cooltour is hosted on a temporary basis by the municipality in a former meeting centre.
SAMOA, the agency for the redevelopment of the Isle of Nantes (France), reported on Les Badauds Associés which settled in the dismissed Aire 38 warehouse and qualifies as a “hors lieu”, a non-place that is working as a living lab.
Forum Virium from Helsinki (Finland) described the case of Sompasauna, an activist initiative hosting a free self-service sauna built and maintained by a group of volunteers and by the users themselves as a way to reclaim public space for citizens.
The City of Ghent (Belgium) presented one of its first temporary use initiatives called De Site, an old industrial waste platform converted in a lively meeting place with 80 city gardens, an open-air cinema, a football field, a kids farm, etc.
The City of Cluj-Napoca (Romania) introduced its local taxes policy for temporary use. It serves as a basis for encouraging temporary use and regulates various ways usage, furniture placement, constructions and installations in the public area.
SynAthina from Athens (Greece) gave the example of its municipal kiosk rooting the social innovation network into a symbolic and central location in the city.
The ZZZ agency from Bremen (Germany) presented one of its latest projects, called Villa Wohnlich, seeking new ideas of working and living. It intends to connect part time, full time and temporary users with different cultural backgrounds and in different institutions.
The City of Amersfoort commented on its Business District network of owners of office buildings. The City is acting as a mediator to connect project developers and real estate managers to initiatives of temporary use.
To see the complete series of posters, take a look at our Flickr album.
The Poster session succeeded to create a warm and friendly environment by making the partners more comfortable and encouraging discussions on temporary-use topic with different approaches and practices due to their specific context and background. It revealed concepts recently learned, encouraged conversations and energized participants, which was vital for a long-but-really-inspiring-and-interesting first day.