In T-Factor, we gather a rich picture of culture and heritage-led regeneration initiatives - all diverse in scale, scope, positioning, interpretation of culture and creativity, impacts, actors and stakeholders, approaches to meanwhile spaces, and more. Their diversity is T-Factor’s core strength.
The Amsterdam Science Park (ASP) is part of the Watergraafsmeer polder reclaimed from the sea
in 1629. While the wider area was inhabited by wealthy summer residencies in the 17th and 18th
century, the site at the seafront was used for agriculture. Since 1921, the Watergraafsmeer is part
of the eastern district of the city of Amsterdam. Although historical local communities live well-
connected with the place, newcomers live and work alienated from their natural and social
surroundings. The main development of the area was done by the University of Amsterdam, the
Dutch National Research Organisation (NWO) and the municipality of Amsterdam, setting up the
Around these core facilities, science and tech-related businesses and start-ups set their premises.
Several apartments were built for student housing. Science Park is not in the regular traffic zone
for city inhabitants and is bordered by train-tracks on the southwest-side and is further
encapsulated by water on the southeast- and north-side. It is an area that you need to visit on
purpose. The ASP masterplan was formulated in 2003 and was updated into a ‘Development
vision’ (‘Ontwikkelvisie’) in 2018. Throughout the urban transformation of the ASP the area has
always maintained to conserve the historical polder characteristics. The current phase of
development is planned for the coming decade, starting from the centre moving outwards. The Amsterdam pilot is focused on Amsterdam Science Park (ASP) and has a thematic focus on
urban ecology. Over the past 20 years, ASP has grown into one of Europe’s largest clusters of
fundamental science, science-based education and valorisation. Its surrounding area has evolved
from an erstwhile agricultural function at the outskirts of the city to an urban centre, increasingly
drawing ASP into the urban core of the Dutch capital. In the ASP urban ecology pilot Waag will
research the concept of a city putting living systems at the core of urban planning and design. The
hypothesis is that this would lead to a world without cities as they are traditionally understood. The
thematic focus of the pilot actively engages with the new goals articulated in the ‘Development
vision’ by enhancing ‘the ecosystem for innovation’ with ‘human interaction’ and ‘integration into
the urban fabric’, as well as contributing to the ‘interaction environment’ as part of ‘diversifying
functions’ (‘verkleuren’) in the area. The pilot focuses on the wellbeing of inhabitants in the area, as
well as providing the facilities for the development of societal and ecological innovations.
The municipality of Amsterdam has provided permits to build temporary buildings as part of the
area development, that can potentially be transformed into permanent functions. An example is the
Startup Village where start-ups as well as refugees have temporarily moved into
containerbuildings. Here Waag already collaborates with the ASP via the ‘planet B’ program, that
responds to the growing need for an interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to our future. The
outpost offers scientists, artists and citizens an open and collaborative space to explore new ways
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.
Zorrotzaurre experienced its industrial heyday in the mid-sixties. A number of different industrial activities consolidated in the area, mostly related to the activity of the port. However, the crisis of the 1970s had a significant effect on the local industrial network, which progressively led to the closure of part of the industrial activity and the deterioration of the quality of life in the area.
In 2001, public and private Zorrotzaurre owners formed a Management Commission for the Urban Development of Zorrotzaurre, to promote and execute the urban regeneration plan of the area. Bilbao aspires, through Zorrotzaurre, to regain centrality and create a space where people can enjoy a wholesome life in the best possible environment, become the young and creative district of Bilbao and to utilize it as an urban lab as a gateway to the future of cities.
The project contemplates 5.500 new homes, half of them with some kind of protection (25% will be social housing, 25% will be fixed-price housing) to provide more affordable housing for the younger population. 500 old homes (most of them dating back to the early 20th century) are also being refurbished. 18 old industrial buildings are being refurbished and will be added to 150.000m2 of new office spaces. While most of the old industrial buildings will be devoted to higher education and vocational training, the new offices will be devoted to technology and knowledge intensive sectors. The masterplan takes into account three key elements to turn Zorrotzaurre into a ‘socially creative island’: technology, talent and cultural and social diversity.
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.
Aleksotas is located in the southwest of Kaunas. The suburb grew rapidly in the 1920s, after Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania. The area suffered much damage during World War II. For a long time, this area was dedicated to industrial purposes, factories, military base and low-rise residential buildings.
After the connectivity of Aleksotas improved, the development started to move rapidly. In 2017, Kaunas was awarded as 2022 European Capital of Culture. The cultural programme ‘Contemporary Capital’ is a call to all cultural actors and citizens to start the dialogue with the history and identity of the city. The regeneration in Aleksotas foresees the creation of Kaunas Innovation park. This area which used to be a military base is being converted into an industrial innovation area, building the physical infrastructures to fit investors’ needs towards the creation of a vibrant hub where businesses and creative and cultural actors can settle and collaborate.
Kaunas and Lithuania in general have a highly developed and growing IT sector, therefore developments are often related to IT and engineering sectors. The Cultural and Creative Industries and design sector is usually isolated from technology-intensive environments. A number of cultural and design activities as well as the implementation of meanwhile uses, such as a ‘circular design hub’, are foreseen. In relation to the innovation park project, various small-scale projects will take place such as regeneration of public spaces, parks, squares. A former boiler house will be converted into a community hub hosting a library, gym, event spaces, makerspaces.
Trafaria is a fisherman village in the south bank of the Tagus river, 10 minutes and 5 miles from Lisbon (by boat trip). This emblematic site has been deactivated for many years and symbolizes the military architecture of the old coast artillery regiment. The first buildings on this site were built in 1565. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Trafaria site was demolished and rebuilt from scratch, to serve once more as a prison until 1974, when prisoners were released, and the site was abandoned ever since.
The requalification of Trafaria is part of the development strategy outlined by the Almada City Council, which aims to promote economic development, boost cultural activities and stimulate a new strategy. The regeneration initiative aims to turn Trafaria into a hub of arts, culture and creativity, that sees the settlement of the Institute of Arts & Technologies at Trafaria ([email protected]) as the catalyser of new higher education, applied research and enterprise opportunities with an international outlook, yet with a strong focus on the creation of positive social and economic impacts over the area and its inhabitants.
Key activities envisaged by the regeneration are: High level training and applied research in different artistic areas with a strong technological focus (music, design, audio-visual, among others); Market-oriented collaborative research between industrial and artistic corporations, the academic sector and free-lance professionals from different areas; Enterprise acceleration and incubation in arts and culture.
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.
Euston has a rich history. Opened in 1837, it created London’s first intercity station. The station itself was rebuilt in the 1960s by British Rail as part of the electrification of the mainline and has remained largely unchanged ever since. Given the central London location available land is under pressure and there are acute social problems such as inequality, overcrowding, crime and drug use, and safety issues.
The Euston masterplan seeks to make connections between communities, deliver a new network of public open spaces dedicated to culture and creativity, and develop opportunities for education and employment, all within a comprehensive mixed-use development. This regeneration project will see the development of at least 405,000 sqm of mixed-use development across the site. This could provide space for more than 30,000 office workers and deliver up to 2,000 homes, with an active ground plane of retail and cultural uses, accessed through a network of legible routes and open spaces.
All of this would be provided above 4 newly developed and refurbished rail stations (HS2, NR, London Underground and Crossrail 2) and a new bus interchange.
With a construction programme spanning the period to 2040, this project has an opportunity to test new ideas and meanwhile uses over a significant period of time and help deliver social value which transforms people’s lives in this part of central London. This is a project of national and global significance that will drive financial value and transformative social, economic and placemaking outcomes for Camden, London and the whole of the UK.
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.
MIND-Milan Innovation District is the 1 million sqm area where the EXPO15 was organised, located at the north-west periphery of Milan. MIND has been conceived as a flagship project for the nation to compete on the global innovation space. It is a 99 year-long Public-Private Partnership between the public sector, Arexpo – publicly owned company whose shareholders are the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Lombardy Region, Municipality of Milan, Milan Fair Foundation, Città Metropolitana of Milan, and the Municipality of Rho – and, the private sector, Lendlease – Australian developer specialised in urban regeneration and infrastructure projects operating in North America, Europe, South East Asia and Australia.
MIND is located at the convergence of two typologies of suburban spaces: small size urban sprawls such as the municipalities of Baranzate, Bollate, Arese, Rho, Roserio, Pero and Mazzo; and a formerly industrialised area, which has undergone a process of de-industrialisation and is now looking for a new identity.
MIND aspires to become a lively city district fostering collaborative innovation and the experimentation of ahead-of-the-times lifestyles, to create social, cultural and economic growth and to serve people's well-being, locally and globally. The regeneration project foresees the development of 480,000 sqm of public uses and 480,000 sqm of private uses. Public uses will include students' accommodation, social housing and leisure, sports and cultural activities, while 205,000 sqm will host the 3 Public Anchors headquarters. The IRCSS Galeazzi research hospital will be completed by 2021 and will host around 9,000 staff, mainly dedicated to orthopaedics and cardiology. The Human Technopole, created as a legacy of Expo2015, is a national research centre on the future of health using genomics, big data analysis, new diagnostics and innovative therapies, connecting universities, international research institutes and hospitals. It will be completed in 2024 and will host 1,000 researchers and 500 administrative and technical staff. Finally, the University of Milan Statale's scientific campus will be completed in 2026 and will host around 18,000 students and 2,000 staff. The Masterplan includes commercial services and offices, residential, retail, light industry and hospitality, labs, culture, and sport-related uses concerning private use.
The rationale behind the industrial/innovation agenda exploits MIND's current anchors' capabilities in terms of R&D, to generate economic and social value at scale by creating a sustainable ecosystem of research institutions, start-ups, corporate and financial sector. Besides the Life Science specialisation, the innovation strategy has a second main focus: the city of the future standing for smart city solutions MIND partners are developing the new district with a view of turning it into a testbed where to test and scale disruptive innovations, new technologies, products, services, processes and projects aimed at improving human wellbeing and sustainable practices. As part of this effort, the Masterplan includes MINDLab a 110.550 sqm living-lab and creative open space facilitating and showcasing the interaction of the different types of users within MIND's ecosystem.
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.
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