Seeds for Urban Metamorphosis Temporary use initiatives, their actors, relationships and influence on urban context. Experiences from Rotterdam (NL) and Bucharest (RO).

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After the 2008 crisis many European cities experienced a shift from large, controlled and bureaucratic master planning developments to small scale, flexible and result-oriented weak planning. This transition manifested in numerous places as temporary use initiatives emerged from the creative interaction of local urban actors. Drawing upon this concepts, this paper explores who these urban actors are and the relationship between them, how they envision the transformation of their TUI and how all this influences the local urban context. The research focuses on two initiatives from Rotterdam and Bucharest and makes use of a qualitative empirical methodology including an in-depth participant observation. The research shows that agents and tenants of TUIs develop overlapping tactics aimed at valorizing occurring opportunities. In contrast, owners are in a waiting phase. They accept TUIs as adaptation, but intend to come back to a context of master planning. The influence exercised by TUIs upon their surrounding urban context is predominantly benefic. They stimulate the economy and culture, reduced vacancy, improved buildings and contribute to public safety. On the other hand, inclusivity of social groups and the risk of gentrification are debatable aspects. This analysis contributes to a better understanding of the role of TUIs’ influence on the city.
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