Reflections on REFILL

On the second day of the REFILL final meeting in Ghent, Charlot Schans from New Europe – Cities in Transition presented her reflections on temporary use, the role of city makers, and the conditions for achieving sustaining benefits from temporary use.

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The benefits of temporary use according to Amsterdam experience are compatible with REFILL partners experiments: lowering maintenance costs and/or giving financial gains, reviving neighbourhoods, redevelopment potential, as well as intangible ones like experiment with co-creation and tools to accommodate innovation.

Cases from Amsterdam and other cities cooperating with New Europe allow to list conditions for effective temporary use. Such list includes: clarity of duration, 3-5 years contracts minimum, opportunities to prolong or buy the property, lowering marker value, access to funding, lowering market value, limiting bureaucracy, infrastructure to exchange know-how and practice.

Special attention was drawn to value creation (planning benefits, baseline measure, integrated measurement schemes and instruments) and vacant property manager/public developer (independent brokerage) briding top-down and bottom-up. Charlot mentioned similarity in this approach to Ghent, Bremmen and Riga. Charlot underlined also the new role of government officials (civil servant 2.0) and difference between citizens participation and consultation.

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The synthesis ended with a discussion on the necessity of framing initiatives, influencing shift of officials approach by temporary use, added value for neighborhood managers and role of TU (tool not aim). Conclusion: the network of city makers is already big and its still growing!

 

Agnieszka Osipiuk – City of Poznan

 

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