One of the first Innovation Districts in the world, [email protected] was initiated in 2000 in the Poblenou neighbourhood, the former manufacturing area of the city also known as the “Catalan Manchester” in the 19th century. The project aimed at redeveloping 198.26 hectares, and leading to the estimated transformation of 1,159,626 m2 of existing industrial land and the potential creation of around 3,200,000 m2 of new construction. Involving the legal recognition of 4,614 already-existing homes and the construction of around 4,000 new subsidised units; 114,000 m2 of green area land; and a total investment in infrastructure of around €180 million – making it the largest project of its kind in Europe at the time.
The goal set was to preserve the productive character of the area thorough knowledge based and creative economy activities. From 2000 to 2018 there have been created 130,000 new jobs in [email protected] and it is expected to create new 5,000 jobs per year at the actual pace of transformation. [email protected] has become the epicentre of the start-up and co-working growth in the city. The district, developed with public leadership and close collaboration with companies and research institutions it has been characterised the last years by bottom-up urban design strategies that have included citizens participation as in the case of the first super-block creation (traffic pacification and gain of public space), the strategic redesign of the project in 2018 through citizens’ participation process repensem [email protected] ([email protected]) or the conversion of Poblenou in a makers district based on peer production and circular economic principles. According to Dublin’s Trinity College, [email protected] has been the inspiration for some 80 innovation districts across the world.
The U-Tower or Dortmunder U is a former brewery building in the city of Dortmund, Germany. Since 2010 it has served as a center for the arts and creativity, housing among other facilities the Museum Ostwall. It was the first high-rise built in Dortmund, between 1926 and 1927. The Union Brewery used this building for the fermentation and storage of their products. In 1994 the brewery and all its surrounding buildings were closed and demolished; only the Dortmund U-Tower was spared due to having landmark status.
In January 2008 the Dortmund U-Tower was decided to be redeveloped as a flagship project for the "Ruhr 2010 – Cultural Capital of Europe". Today it is considered one of Dortmund's central places, in which creative catering and event facilities are offered. The Dortmunder U shows artworks from 20th and 21st centuries, develops innovative concepts of cultural education in the digital age, initiates partnerships between art and science, and cooperates with different players in the context of creative industries. As a centre of international caliber in North Rhine-Westphalia it is a partner for regional as well as international projects and collaborates with other international institutions in the interdisciplinary field.
The "U" embodies an innovative practice at the intersection of art, research, creativity, cultural education and economy. It is a public place for research and study as well as for the experience and the discourse over art, media and today's culture for all citizens and ages. The "U" is based on a cooperation of diverse users of the U-Tower building: the Museum Ostwall, the Hartware MedienKunstVerein, the Cultural Office of the City of Dortmund, the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the TU Dortmund University, the European centre for creative economy (ecce) and the association U Cinema, operating the RWE Forum.
Manifattura Tabacchi Florence (MT) is the largest regeneration project ever experienced in the city, insisting over an area of 6 hectares comprising 16 buildings and several squares and streets, located closely to the city centre. The site opened in 1940 to host the State-owned production of tobacco and cigars; for almost 50 years, MT has been an active production site, employing up to 2500 workers.
Passing through the major historical events of the 20th century, MT has represented an important working site for the city, as well as a symbol of community, sense of belonging and social ties that today’s senior citizens still tell about with nostalgia and sense of loss. The site officially closed in 2001 and remained abandoned for almost 20 years.
In 2016, MT was acquired by a joint venture between Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Aermont, for an overall investment of around 400 M€. The regeneration project, which started in 2017 and is expected to be finished by 2024, focusses on the creation of an urban hub dedicated to contemporary arts, culture and creativity in the new millennium, as a way to project Florence into the future and help the city expand a positioning that is often stuck into the Renaissance, and that is mainly prerogative of tourists.
EC1 Łódź - City of Culture is a revitalized and extended complex of the first Lodz commercial power plant. It has been part of the Nowe Centrum Łódź project, implemented by the City of Łódź since 2007. The history of EC1 began on May 25th, 1906 when, at a plot located at Targowa Street, construction work on the first commercial power plant in Łódź commenced. The Machine Hall, currently used as an exhibition and concert hall, built in the Art Nouveau style, dates back to that period. The rapid development of the power plant was stopped by World War I and the extensive damage to Łódź's industry.
On May 15th, 2008 the City Council of Łódź Resolution, establishing "EC1 Łódź – City of Culture" in Łódź, entered into force. This institution, supported by the Investment Bureau at the Department of Property Management of Łódź City Council, commenced revitalizing works in the former heat and power plant area. Renovation and modernization of the post-industrial buildings was conducted, along with their conversion to new functions.
Revitalization took into account the importance and nature of the area, referring to the historical character of the buildings themselves. The historical layout and "density" of the area were recreated to a great extent. The revitalized and expanded EC1 East complex now fulfils cultural, artistic and social functions. At the same time, it is an important element of the New Centre of Łódź, combining architectural trends from the previous century and cutting-edge post-industrial features. It is designed to be an open space for various artists, fully adapted to fit the roles of individual workshops and events, with suitable infrastructure for those purposes. It is also a space for institutions organizing cultural and educational events for the residents of Łódź, as well as for many other people.
One of London’s largest and most high-profile developments. Argent, as developers and asset managers for the site, have developed the site according to their ‘Principles for a Human City’ which place emphasis on ‘long-term stewardship, high quality, inclusive design, accessible public realm, diversity, and engagement’. Implementing these principles has delivered an overall ‘sense of place’ at Kings Cross and sought to create the conditions to optimize long term social impact.
Now in its 11th year of development, Kings Cross has become a thriving residential and commercial hub, visited by over 7 million people per year. Central to the place making effort has been the delivery of over 70,000m2 of public realm, which provides space for a diverse range of uses, from major events, to community group meet-ups, to art installations and creative and cultural meanwhile uses. Argent’s work with charity groups such as Global Generation has facilitated initiatives that activate the site and provide opportunities for social connection and community building.
Additionally, funding has been utilized by Camden Council to deliver a Construction Skills College that trains local people in construction skills and provides pathways to employment on the construction sites within the development. Kings Cross is one of ten inner London ‘Opportunity Areas’ identified in the London Plan in 2004. Kings Cross has outperformed other Opportunity Areas (OA’s) against a number of metrics, strongly contributing to London’s growth. Consequently, Kings Cross is often celebrated as one of London’s regeneration success stories. The Kings Cross site is in the heart of the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ the name given to the area within a one-mile radius of King’s Cross. It is home to a cluster of +85 organizations spanning research, higher education, science, art, culture and media.
La Friche was born out of the ashes of the Seita tobacco factory and today it is a place of creativity and innovation. It is both a working space for the 70 on site organizations (400 artists and creatives who work there every day) and a place for cultural dissemination and events (600 events each year on average, from youth workshops to large-scale festivals). With over 400.000 visitors a year, la Friche la Belle de Mai is a multi-faceted public space comprising a sports area, restaurant, 5 concert venues, shared gardens, a bookshop, a crèche, 2400 m2 of exhibition space, a 8000 m2 roof terrace, and a training centre, all sustained by a diversified business model. On this new cultural urban site, we imagine, create and work to ensure that every idea can find an outlet.
Friche la Belle de Mai has adopted a collective governance model (SCIC) constituted by a multi-shareholding (operators located on the site, public and private partners, inhabitants of the district, employees) to assert themselves as an innovative place of dialogue and of co-construction. The cooperative society is at the heart of an ecosystem made up in large part by the 70 permanent resident operators installed on the area. Their different nature and scope of activity makes it possible to articulate missions of general interest and economic dynamics. The cooperative society has 60 permanent employees working in the fields of management, communication, engineering, technology, maintenance, communication, marketing and mediation.
SCIC manages the cultural and urban project of the Friche la Belle de Mai around 3 axes: transformation of the site on the basis of a management master plan; land and property management of the site; and animation and coordination of the cultural, social and economic project deployed on the Friche area.
In 1890s Irving T. Bush began to build a monumental intermodal manufacturing, warehousing and distribution center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Due to its prominent location, immense scale, and structure that supported a wide spectrum of businesses, Industry City flourished. It quickly became one of the most successful facilities of its type, enabling Brooklyn to become a major international seaport.
By the 1960s, urban manufacturing had started its long decline. Most of IC’s major manufacturers – most notably the legendary Topps Baseball Card company – closed their doors or moved away, and IC suffered through a period of disinvestment and decay for 40 years. In 2013, this all changed. A new ownership group, led by Belvedere Capital and Jamestown, began to redevelop Industry City. Over the past two years, IC has leased more than two million square feet of space and created over 2,000 jobs, capitalizing on the rapidly emerging innovation economy.
It encompasses the full arc of physical, digital and engineered product design and development, including initial research, engineering, design, manufacturing, and production. The property’s ownership is actively updating the complex, its amenities and its systems while cultivating a diverse tenant mix that fuses today’s burgeoning innovation economy with traditional manufacturing and artisanal craft. This work is paving the way toward a vibrant and diverse community of forward-thinking companies that support good-paying jobs for workers across skill and experience levels. Since the new partnership was forged in 2013, employment has increased from 1,900 jobs to 4,500 jobs, including more than 100 positions filled through IC’s local employment program.
Shanghai Sculpture Space - known to the public as Red Town because of the colour of the bricks which gives the buildings a very distinctive appearance in the area - opened the door in 2005 in the industrial heritage of an early 20th century steel-making factory, which sat empty for years. It was first commissioned as a sculpture exhibition space offering different shows organized from the Shanghai Urban Planning Bureau and Shanghai Sculpture Committee Office. It presented unique environmental features for a location downtown: versatile architecture spaces, open areas, grassy lawn facing a very decent urban landscape, all of which contributed over the years to the shaping and structuring of a variety of activities and experiences, including art, leisure, and social functions.
Red Town has metamorphosed the 20th-century factory that formerly occupied this location from dusty and abandoned remnants to trendiest and peaceful creative digs. On a total area of 18000 square meters, of which 11000 of business areas, 5000 of exhibitions, and 2000 of entertainment; it ultimately included live houses, galleries, concert venues, fitness club, bridal couture boutique, art therapy studios, bookstores, organic cafés, floral markets, and vintage stores.
Red Town represents a primordial case of creative city, ideated as a possible solution for economic stagnancy and urban restoration needs, yet not completely planned nor designed in its strategy. Shanghai has been pioneer in embracing the concept of creative city, through a renovation strategy which has been defined as “creative spatio-temporal fix”. The interest of studying this spatial and temporal model is because it seems able to cope with the crisis of capital accumulation, and at the same time to trigger unexpected engagement with inhabitants and users: in more or less positive, yet interesting ways, the time of Red Town has largely influenced immaterial notions such as leisure, heritage and public space.