Building upon prior knowledge from URBACT Action Planning networks and the URBACT Good Practices, the (Re)making the City online tool was created in order to promote and disseminate innovative planning approaches towards the rehabilitation of underused spaces. Such problem is faced by different European cities, but also from urban areas from all over the world. By breaking down the causes of urban underuse and vacancy, five main challenges stood out:
A wide range of key stories was selected to showcase innovative (and not so costly!) solutions to those specific challenges. Those cases can vary enormously, from locations within the city boundaries to the extension of the project, the solutions can also be in different stages of implementation. The first step to improve and boost an area’s use it is to identify and understand the spatial conditions and circumstances. This can be understood as mapping a challenging zone.
The following stages of solutions comprehend a series of incremental and progressive actions: engaging local stakeholders, collectively reflecting upon the envisioned future and testing possible projects. Even if the actions on the ground might be through, there is still work to be done on a higher level: the decision-making process, choosing an adequate financial model, mainstreaming legal instruments and, at last, evaluating to constantly enhance a solution are still crucial steps.
A matrix of solutions was elaborated by crossing the challenges with the solution stages and putting the selected good practices within different categories. This collective benchmark of cases, based upon URBACT experiences at first, aims to be expanded. City practitioners, urbanist, city planning and development students… all are welcome to contribute!