TUTUR // Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration

TUTUR will develop temporary use strategies in the urban regeneration plans of  Rome, Alba Iulia and Bremen. Temporary use is a planning tool effectively bringing together various stakeholders: it engages an important number of municipal and private economic development agencies and property owners, as well as cultural organisations, to elaborate potential uses of existing infrastructure and resources. In the meanwhile, architects (and landscape architects, designers) also play a key role in the development of models for interim use and in the establishment of temporary spatial possibilities. Transforming empty properties to allow them adopt new uses offers advantages to all: owners profit with the renovation and preservation of the building, users access affordable work and living spaces, residents enjoy their revitalised neighbourhoods, merchants benefit increasing traffic and sales, and the design professions gain new work opportunities and expanded professional perspectives. The objective of the TUTUR project is to introduce the method of temporary use in urban regeneration to cities participating in the network.

The partner cities are:

Rome, Italy
The planning department of the City of Rome is Lead Partner of the project given the great importance of urban regeneration for the future development strategy of the city. Many public areas and buildings in the city are currently being decommissioned by their former occupiers and managers. There are in fact a wide range of publicly owned spaces, such as military areas, barracks, cinemas, railway properties, but also many private owned spaces such as residential and industrial. In this context, the proposal addresses the need to build higher government capacity in envisioning new uses – on the basis of emerging demand and opportunities – and in putting in place adequate planning devices in order to make them possible. Temporary uses are extremely useful from both these points of view: as a device able to bridge emerging demands and opportunities in the field of potential uses with the actual availability of a specific physical capital; as a device able to clarify the kind of innovative rational that must characterise planning tools dedicated to this kind of uses.

Alba Iulia, Romania
The City of Alba Iulia is undergoing a series of great urban regeneration projects both in the Citadel and the surrounding neighbourhoods, reason why there is great interest in testing temporary uses in many abandoned buildings in the city. Some of these spaces have been given to various actors from different fields of activity, NGOs, Economic Agents, etc., which now rehabilitated them to be used for professional purposes. Is it also important to notice that temporary uses have already been inserted into some local projects as in the case of the neighborhood heating stations where several activities have been developed in the last years.

Bremen, Germany
In 2009 the city of Bremen came up with the idea of a temporary use agency for the whole city as a pilot project of the Nationale Stadtentwicklungspolitik, a program of the Federal Ministry of Building. The pilot project in Bremen was supported by partners from various official bodies: the board of economy as leading partner, the department of building and traffic, the department of finances and, very important, the department of public property management. This way the ZwischenZeitZentrale was established.

Budapest, Hungary (Oberservatory Board City)
Budapest is part of the TUTUR Observatory Board as it has suffered more from the economic crises than many other European cities. The recession, combined with many building types becoming obsolete and no longer able to respond to contemporary needs, as well as with the inflexible management of real estate properties by various kinds of owners has emptied a significant proportion of the city from its previous functions and use. Over 30% of office spaces are estimated to be vacant in Budapest, adding up to an estimated million square meters of wasted space, in addition to the visible abundance of empty storefronts, abandoned residential buildings and even commercial complexes.

In the TUTUR project I am the Themanic Expert for Urban Planning and Urban Regeneration.

For more information about the TUTUR project, visit the project website, the Facebook site, or the URBACT website.