Enabling Regulation for Temporary Use Webinar

Regenerating cities in the ‘meanwhile’

Temporary or meanwhile uses are on the rise across Europe. Vacant buildings, empty lots, and unused spaces are becoming the object of temporary use as 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 fabric of urban areas under regeneration. However, temporary uses face many barriers, particularly in terms of regulation and especially when temporary uses derive from the action of civil society groups and grassroots movements. 

The puzzle-work of laws and bureaucratic procedure, as well as costs, that initiators must navigate to start a temporary use make it hard for communities to access and manage these spaces. The active support of public administrations is key, together with a simplification of rules, contracting and licensing mechanisms to make temporary uses a mainstreamed tool in urban regeneration plans. If city planners are willing to change their understanding of governance and make greater use of the self-organisation forces of residents, a new balance can emerge between the inputs of institutional actors and civil society influence: Cities can gain liveliness and attractiveness.

To this end, the Workshop “Enabling Regulation for Temporary Use” brings together experts from different European Cities to investigate which instruments, processes and understandings of the possibilities of the ‘meanwhile’ help to foster the positive effects of temporary urbanism. We specifically investigate the following questions:

  • How do cities enable temporary use to enhance urban regeneration? 
  • How can city administrations develop capacities to use temporary urbanism?
  • What are the possible directions for enabling temporary use regulation



09.30 | Welcome and moderation, Alejandra Castro, TU Dortmund University.

9:40 | Keynotes

Regulation for Temporary UseStephanie HauryFederal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), Bonn Germany.

Regulatory Temporalities and the Need to Reframe Temporary UseRobin Chang, PhD, Researcher, Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

10:10 | Discussion

10:25| Break

10:30| City Sprints about the Municipal Perspective: How do Cities Enable and Regulate Temporary Use?

  • Emma Tytgadt, City of Ghent.
  • Lucie Renou, City of Nantes, Samoa Agency.
  • Oliver Hasemann, City of Bremen, ZwischenZeitZentrale.
  • Katharina Pelka, City of Heidelberg, Cultural & Creative Industries Unit.
  • Katrin Hitziggrad, City of Jena, Agency for Temporary Use. 
  • Chiara Manaresi, City of Bologna, Urban Development Department.
  • Provisorium, City of Mönchengladbach.
  • Further short presentations of invited cities.


11:20 | Introduction to Breakout Sessions

Alejandra Castro, TU Dortmund University.

11:30 | Parallel Breakout Sessions

1) Temporary Use Agencies. Discussion with representatives from Bremen and Mönchengladbach, facilitated by Dr. Arne Elias, Economic Development Agency Dortmund.

2) Contract Templates and User Agreements. Discussion with Lucie Renou, City of Nantes, Samoa Agency, facilitated by Dr. Rick Hölsgens, TU Dortmund University.

3) Temporary Use, Art & Cultural Activities. Discussion with Bettina Lamm, Associate Professor at the Landscape Architecture and Planning division, University of Copenhagen, facilitated by Alejandra Castro, TU Dortmund University.

4) Financing Mechanisms. Discussion with Emma Tytgadt, City of Ghent, facilitated by Patrycja Wojtaszczyk, City of Lodz.

5) The Policy Level: Options for Regulating Temporary Use. Discussion with Robin Chang, RWTH Aachen University, and Chiara Manaresi, Urban Development Department, City of Bologna, facilitated by Besnik Mehmeti, ANCI Toscana.

6) User-Perspective. Discussion with Maxime Zaït, Communa Belgium, facilitated by Laura Martelloni, ANCI Toscana.

12:20 | T-Factor Outlook Alejandra Castro, TU Dortmund University.