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New uses for empty spaces

Due to the economic crisis, many of the neighborhoods and areas of our cities are radically changing.

Photo of Irune Jimenez
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Lots of streets that before were full of shops and activity, now look like no live is there anymore. Also industrial areas that have stopped their production activity, look the same.
Each council should support projects that suggest new uses for these empty spaces, in the way of no leaving place for crime or damage and recover the aspect they look like before.
This empty spaces are also seen good for people with new business ideas but no place for establish it, or for young entrepeneurs too.

As an example of that is NO LONGER EMPTY, from New York. In this case, the empty spaces of the city are used for cultural projects, as art workshops for children.
Another example is THE DEPTFORD PROJECT, which has become an old tube coach into a cultural centre that offers cinema nights or workshops for artists, in the city of London.
Closely to my hometown, in Bilbao, there is a similar example, which is called ZAWP. Here, with the economic support of the Basque government and other institutions, some blocks that were use for industrial production before, are now being used for settle the studios of young people.


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Photo of Szu-Yin

I love this idea! Also I was wondering, the city of Bilbao was revitalized after re-planning the city and building the Guggenheim museum (correct me if I'm wrong :P). Are there any similar inspirations we can build upon?

Photo of Irune

Thanks! You are ok about this.
For most people, the city of Bilbao was revitalized because the Guggenheim Museum that was built here, but it is not the only thing that was made in this period of time.
In the case that you only build a museum, which is seen as an iconic element in the case of Bilbao, you will hardly revitalize a city. You should also plan to improve the city with a good public transport, provide the city of free libraries for the citizen, cultural activities, parks, free cultural activities, theatres, open spaces, etc. I think that the city has made this work ok, although evidently always it is more that can be made.
There are some examples of cities that have tried to repeat this model, but that have failled because they have thinked only in the iconic element I was talking about before, and not the rest.
Well, but this is only my opinion.