Our first issue of our REFILL thematic magazine is out! Have a read and discover some entry points and lessons describing the first steps for cities to follow towards temporary use.

Refill’s main objective is to tackle the challenge of empty buildings and unused lands in an urban environment. By accommodating social, cultural and economic initiatives in these vacancies, a city can generate multiple benefits: revitalizing neglected neighbourhoods, intensifying the use of built urban environment and contributing to a fairer and more sustainable city.

But beforehand, cities have to start dealing with these issues. City administrations have to recognize the importance of vacancy in their cities. Stakeholders have to familiarize with the practice
of temporary use and its positive mechanisms. Civil servants have to make temporary use actionable and city leaders have to support and promote its development.
Our first issue of our REFILL thematic magazine is therefore describing the first steps for cities to follow towards temporary use. In short:
  1. Raise awareness: find the right mix between getting pieces of evidence and quantitative data of vacancy in the city and raising stakeholders enthusiasm on temporary use. We explore some examples of mapping and open data.
  2. Twist the law: find the space for temporary use within the current administrative structure and the legal framework. We look at ways to ‘legally twist’ the law by making exceptions and creating experiments to build upon.
  3. Cope with regulations: find ways to apply different regulations in cases where stric regulation is preventing the viability of temporary use. We share experiences of negociating between all stakeholders and building consensus about the regulations, the expected impacts and the risks.
  4. Value societal benefits: how can cities deliberate democratically between social, environmental and economic benefits around temporary use and property economic value? We look at transparent ways to assess societal values and compare them to economic benefits.
We hope you will enjoy it. And if you do, don’t spare your pleasure, as we will publish 6 such thematic magazines along the REFILL project!

Oh, almost forgotten, in case you’re in for the articles instead of the pictures, this first report is all about fitting the temporary use in the legal framework.



Download a pdf version of the magazine right here.