/Making cities in the age of uncertainty
The way we make cities must be rethought deeply. The paradox of urban regeneration is often evident in our cityscapes and the multiple scars witnessed by unfinished neighbourhoods, brand-new buildings standing empty, soulless districts and dynamics of displacement often labelled as ‘gentrification’. At the time of multiple crises and great uncertainties, the paradox of urban regeneration risks becoming the tangible evidence of structural failures in the way we equip cities for the present and future.
We need new urban regeneration models and tools to keep pace with complexity, rapid change, and emerging needs in our neighbourhoods and communities. Urban regeneration is not only about cities' hardware such as buildings and infrastructure; it is also a reboot of the urban software - the social, cultural and economic fabric that makes cities thrive and mitigate against present and future risks.
Prototyping participatory urban futures
Temporary or meanwhile spaces are on the rise across Europe. Vacant buildings, plots and unused spaces are more and more used as temporary sites for co-creative experimentation, unlocking a multitude of innovative cultural, social and entrepreneurial activities. Often, these initiatives are key to build shared public value and rewire the social, cultural and economic fabrics of the areas under regeneration. In many cases, they are well positioned to become permanent fixtures of the local landscape, acting as prototypes for future.
We call these temporary initiatives ‘meanwhile spaces’.
T-Factor’s mission is to boost novel approaches to urban regeneration, focussing on the key role that temporary uses can play in unleashing inclusive, sustainable and thriving urban areas. We argue that the time factor in urban regeneration can become a strategic asset when it is used as a means of collective placemaking and learning in light of more stable uses and functions. It’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders - governments, developers, academia, business, grassroots communities and citizens.
We work across different regeneration initiatives in Europe and beyond, developing an international platform of support and knowledge exchange. Leveraging international collaboration, we aim to build a full portfolio of tested innovations embracing design, organisation, management, governance, funding and regulatory aspects of temporary uses.
In T-Factor, we work across both early stage and advanced regeneration initiatives in Europe and beyond:
• 6 early stage initiatives - T-Factor’s pilots - host the development of place-based programmes of temporary uses, harnessing culture and creative collaboration to prototype urban hubs of innovation, inclusion and entrepreneurship.
• 8 frontrunner initiatives - T-Factor Advanced Cases - work as our primary source of inspiration and learning.
6 local pilots
6 early stage regeneration sites across Europe (T-Factor’s Pilots), committed to create innovative cultural and creative urban hubs.
8 advanced cases
8 advanced cases of regeneration across Europe and beyond, providing knowledge and learning about meanwhile strategies and approaches.
EU and non-EU countries.
Public-private investment at pilot sites.
Stakeholders engaged at pilot sites.
25 partners including cities, universities, businesses and grassroots organisations forming a global community of practice on temporary uses in urban regeneration.