The rise of the 'meanwhile space': how empty properties are being brought back to life
The rise of the 'meanwhile space': how empty properties are finding second lives
Cities around the world are finding creative ways to put empty properties into good use by handing them over to community groups.
The idea of loaning empty urban spaces to worthwhile causes is gaining ground with thriving projects in the Danish city of Aarhus and Philadelphia in the USA, where it's called "temporary urbanism". In densely populated London, urban sites can remain empty for years, mainly because they have no obvious commercial potential or are waiting for permission to be developed.
U+I, one of the sponsors of the Centre for London report, has already leased several sites awaiting redevelopment to small businesses and community organisations for temporary use. It is acknowledged that property owners worry about reclaiming the space when the tenancy ends but says everyone involved needs to be clear that the situation is temporary.
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Author: Laura Latham