Vacant Spaces | Discussion Results

Page 1

VACANT SPACES Results of a Panel on Temporary Use in Cluj-Napoca

Published by: German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca Title photo: MarryB (CC0 Public Domain) Internal photos: Liliana Popa (unless stated otherwise) Copyright Š December 2016

Partners of the Film Series Vacant Spaces:

Table of Contents Foreword .................................................................................5 Panel Speakers ....................................................................... 7

Discussion Results ................................................................ 11 Introduction ................................................................11 The Current Situation in Cluj-Napoca ...................... 12 The ZZZ - ZwischenZeitZentrale as an Example ..... 14 A Framework as an Institutional Prerequisite .......... 17

Public Awareness and Transparency ........................18 Closing Remarks ........................................................ 20 Further Reading .................................................................... 23

The now vacant Gara Mică is the former station for regional and local trains in ClujNapoca. 3

A Jane’s Walk led by Dr. Laura Panait took place as part of Vacant Spaces on November 2, 2016, in the Mănăștur neighborhood. (Photo by Robert Puțeanu)


Foreword In November 2016, the German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca organized a series of events titled Vacant Spaces. Series of Films on Vacancy and Temporary Use. The program consisted of film screenings, a Jane’s Walk, and a panel discussion of which this paper is an account. The general aim was to inform the interested public about the issue of empty buildings in the city and discuss concepts for utilizing these spaces. The German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca is at the core of the cultural dialogue between Germany and the city of ClujNapoca in the heart of Transylvania, Romania. Offering cutting-edge language courses and examinations, a multifaceted cultural program, and a comprehensive library, we promote the German language at the highest level and present an authentic image of modern-day Germany. The German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca is situated at the interface between the cultural sector, the economy, and the society.

The long-empty Hotel Continental is situated right at Cluj-Napoca’s central square Piața Unirii.

Due to the rural exodus, cities become more and more cramped, the rents for living space rise. But is space really in such short supply? This is only partly true. Despite the continued influx to the centers, many municipalities struggle with considerable vacantness; buildings that have been abandoned, forgotten by bureaucracy, or are simply hard to sell, can be found everywhere. In Cluj-Napoca, there are several buildings which either stood empty for a long time, or still do so – for example the Hotel Continental, the Depozitul de Filme or the Paintbrush Factory. From the complete conversion of a building (like in the case of the Paintbrush Factory) over interim use options to being an adventure playground for urban explorers, there are very different ways to handle vacancy. To spark a debate and especially discuss temporary use models as a possible 5

solution, the German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca decided to have a series of events on this topic. The resulting program Vacant Spaces was held from November 2 to 4, 2016, at different locations in Cluj-Napoca. On Wednesday, November 2, the program started with a Jane’s Walk through the Mănăștur neighborhood, led by urban anthropologist Dr. Laura Panait. Afterwards, the movie Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (English title: The Edukators) was screened in Cinema Dacia. The next day saw the screening of the German documentary Nicht-Mehr | NochNicht and the panel discussion on temporary use models at the Paintbrush Factory. On the final day, the Romanian documentary Victoria and the German film Göttliche Lage. Eine Stadt erfindet sich neu were scheduled. This paper gives an account of the results of the panel discussion titled Second-Hand Spaces (the title being a reference to the book of the same name, see The panel was moderated by Eugen Pănescu, an architect and urban planner from ClujNapoca with an extensive interest in the rehabilitation of unused space. Four other speakers were present at the panel, representing experts from Germany, NGOs who already use temporary space, and the administration of the metropolitan area. Also, a speaker representing the owners of empty buildings was invited but had to cancel his participation due to health issues prior to the event.

The German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca wishes to thank all those involved in the Vacant Spaces series of events. Special thanks go to the panel participants, its moderator Eugen Pănescu, to Monica Sebestyen of UrbanEye Film Festival for valuable advice for the selection of films, to the venues who offered their space, and all our supporters and partners. We hope that this account of the panel discussion proves useful as a basis for future research.

Cluj-Napoca, December 2016


The now largely unused Casa de Modă is a former shopping center on the banks of the Someșul Mic.

Panel Speakers Eugen Pănescu

Eugen Pănescu

Eugen Pănescu is an architect and urban planner from Romania. A Cluj-Napoca native, he studied in his hometown at the Technical University as well as in Hamburg, Germany. His main focus lies on urban planning and zoning, urban regeneration strategies and rehabilitation of public spaces. In 2002, he founded together with partners from Hamburg the German-Romanian architecture and urban planning office, Planwerk S.R.L. Since then, he frequently collaborated with the city hall of Cluj-Napoca and worked with several local governments in Transylvania and other regions of the country. Pănescu won several awards in national competitions and is a delegate of the Romanian Order of Architects. He had a two-fold role in the panel discussion: first, he served as the moderator of the panel, directing the discussion towards the most pressing issues. Second, he represented the view of an experienced urban planner with a particular interest in the reutilization of urban brownfields.

Daniel Schnier Daniel Schnier is an urban explorer and planner and urban activist with the Bremen-based ZwischenZeitZentrale, and one of Germany’s top experts on temporary use concepts. Born in the Northern-German region of Lower Saxony in 1977, he holds an engineer’s diploma in architecture and also studied Art and Cultural Studies at University of Bremen. He prefers to call himself an anarchitect, though, reflecting the fact that he is focusing on reusing old buildings instead of creating new ones. Together with fellow urban planner 7

Oliver Hasemann, he founded the AAA - Autonomes Architektur Atelier in 2006 and, after winning a competition for an intermediary agency, the ZZZ - ZwischenZeitZentrale in 2009. He frequently writes for blogs and other media and served as co-editor for Second Hand Spaces. Recycling Sites Undergoing Urban Transformation (Jovis, DE/EN 2012). A new book, Building Platforms. Entstehungsorte schaffen will be published in spring 2017 (Jovis, DE/EN).

Daniel Schnier In the panel discussion, he served as an expert on how to found a mediator organization like ZwischenZeitZentrale and brought in valuable know-how on best practice examples of temporary use initiatives and on how to create public awareness and how to empower the citizens.

Anne Angenendt Ms. Angenendt is an urban activist and cultural entrepreneur working for the temporary use agency ZZZ ZwischenZeitZentrale in Bremen, Germany. She was born close to Krefeld in the Western-German region of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1987 and holds an MA in Arts and Culture Mediation from the University of Bremen. Of special interest for her are the topics urban perception and sociology, vacancy, and networks of cultural entrepreneurs. Occasionally supporting ZwischenZeitZentrale since 2009 as a volunteer, she was hired as a full-time employee by the agency in October 2015. In 2011, she co-founded Kultur im Bunker e.V., an initiative that claimed an old empty air-raid shelter in Bremen as a space for cultural and social projects. Her role in the panel was that of an expert on how to create and maintain networks between cultural entrepreneurs, social initiatives, and all the other stakeholders. Her role as a mediator brings her in contact with initiatives interested in temporary spaces, proprietors, and city-level authorities.

Rarița Zbranca Rarița Zbranca is an arts manager and cultural policymaker based in Cluj-Napoca. Born in 1975, she holds a degree from the University for Art and Design of Cluj-Napoca and a BA 8

Anne Angenendt

Rarița Zbranca

in Journalism from the Babeș-Bolyai University. She focuses on the topics culture, media, democracy, and minority rights. She rose to prominence in Cluj’s cultural scene as the executive director of the AltArt Foundation and one of the founding members of the Paintbrush Factory. She was also involved in many other NGOs like the Ethno-Cultural Diversity Resource Center and the Soros Foundation. During the application process, she was part of the core team of the narrowly failed Cluj-Napoca 2021 project, dedicated to winning the title of European Capital of Culture for the city. Having lots of experience with NGOs, especially with a cultural or social activist background, and also with converted industrial spaces (through her work for the Paintbrush Factory), she represented the users’ side in the panel.

Adrian Nicolae Răulea Mr. Răulea is a development coordinator with the Cluj Metropolitan Association. Răulea was born in Sibiu and moved to Cluj-Napoca for his university education. He holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in European Affairs and Program Management at the BabeșBolyai University. He worked for the Strategy and Urban Development department of the Cluj-Napoca city hall until he changed to the Cluj Metropolitan Association in early 2015. There, he is involved in REFILL, a project within the framework of the European Urbact program that promotes knowledge exchange about temporary use concepts for vacant buildings and urban brownfields. Mr. Răulea was invited to the panel for several reasons: as a project manager for REFILL, he is strongly involved in the city’s project on temporary use models. Furthermore, he has experience in working for both, the local authorities and a state-level organization.

Adrian N. Răulea 9

Moderator Eugen Pănescu with German guests Anne Angenendt and Daniel Schnier (left to right) at the panel discussion.


Discussion Results Introduction The panel discussion Second-Hand Spaces was held in ClujNapoca on November 3, 2016, as part of the film series Vacant Spaces, organized by the German Cultural Center. The debate had several aims: to raise public awareness about the issue of empty spaces in the city, discussing temporary use models with experts from Germany, and identifying potentials for organizations in need of space. Interim use, or temporary use, is a relatively new concept in urbanism that focuses on renting currently empty buildings to cultural or social initiatives, artisans, shop owners or other users on a distinctly temporary and flexible basis. Usually, several parties are involved in temporary use projects as shown below:


needs vacant building




city hall

The Fabrica de Pensule is an artist-run space in a reconverted former paintbrush factory.

Ideally, the temporary letting of a space offers benefits for all parties involved: the users get a space for minimal rent, usually far below market standards and without too many bureaucratic hurdles. The owner has his or her building utilized, preventing vandalism and dilapidation without 11

sacrificing the possibility to sell or rent to a ‘proper’ party when possible. And the city authorities benefit from one abandoned building less. A successful cultural activation of the place can even improve the value of the entire neighborhood – which can result in a gentrification process for the whole area. This can, however, also lead to problems: if a gentrification process kicks off, it can change the local market realities and the temporary users might be expelled from the property in favor of “proper” tenants. During the panel discussion, this issue was addressed by a member of the audience, university professor and social housing activist Dr. Eniko Vincze. She also advocated to include the topic of social housing into the discussion which was originally intended to focus mainly on cultural use of temporary space. Moderator Eugen Pănescu said about this: “In my view, this discussion of free use of spaces is not about cultural use only. There is a reason why in Cluj, this discussion is happening so much on culture. But we also have reasons why this discussion happens so little on housing, for example.” The following is an account of the topics discussed during the debate. It is not presented in chronological order and has been edited for easier readability.

The Current Situation in Cluj-Napoca Mr. Pănescu mentioned already in the opening of the discussion that in his opinion, temporary use of vacant spaces has recently become a ‘hot topic’ in Cluj-Napoca. Examples for this trend on the official level are the participation of the city in the REFILL and COMPASS projects. REFILL is a project organized by the European Urbact network promoting a knowledge exchange between different cities about the topic of temporary use. The COMPASS project’s subtitle is Competencies for Sustainable Site Conversion and it focuses on the repurposing of vacant public spaces and buildings. COMPASS is financed by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus+ program. Romania faces a unique situation in its real estate market, 12

Part of the audience during the panel.

The Cinema Artă has been empty for a long time. However, recently it saw a rise in activity.

Mr. Pănescu said, since almost all of the public property was privatized in the 25 years since the end of communism. And the few state properties that are left are on sale and usually go to private investors for minimal prizes, he added. According to him, most empty spaces in the country are industrial ones: “Without having a statistic, I presume that the main empty quantity is industrial space rather than residential. We don’t have empty residential buildings at all.” There are dozens or even hundreds of empty factories in Romania. Also a particularity in Romania are the private investors, Eugen Pănescu added. Since they usually acquired former state-owned industrial spaces for very little money with low interest rates, they can afford to stick to their properties and wait for the next real estate boom. Thus, they are less under pressure to find tenants. Also, possible users usually only get in contact with proprietors via newspaper announcements, Mr. Pănescu said. This form of matchmaking makes it very difficult for interested parties to negotiate prices under the market standard. Arts manager Rarița Zbranca gave a somewhat optimistic account of Cluj-Napoca’s temporary use scene. She said that the city features a critical mass of people with initiatives and also some very open-minded people on the owners’ side. However, according to a member of the audience, a problem is that the different groups are not well enough connected. Another challenge, Ms. Zbranca added, is that no comprehensive policy on temporary use has yet been released by the city hall. She stressed, however, that she believes that Cluj-Napoca has a lot of potential in this regard. Cluj-Napoca already saw some temporary use projects being implemented. Eugen Pănescu mentioned initiatives in the Gara Mică, the former station for local and regional trains, where recently exhibitions have been housed. Also, Ms. Zbranca added, an artist group worked for several years in the Flacăra building and Palatul Urania and the Casa de Modă have recently seen use by cultural or social initiatives. Anne Angenendt from Bremen also complimented the La Terenuri communal space project in Mănăștur, which was visited the day prior to the panel discussion during a Jane’s Walk as 13

part of the Vacant Spaces program. The most prominent example for the conversion of industrial space in Cluj-Napoca is certainly the Paintbrush Factory. Started in 2009, it now houses a multitude of NGOs, galleries and artist studios. Prior to the Paintbrush Factory, the contemporary art scene of Cluj-Napoca was limited to the Casa Tranzit, a former synagogue that offers an event hall but no rehearsal or office space. Rarița Zbranca, who was among the Factory’s founding members, recollects that its creation was tied to a series of coincidences. The most important one was the 2009 financial crisis. In this economic climate, nobody from the business sector was interesting in renting the old Paintbrush Factory building and the offer of a motley group of artists and cultural workers suddenly became interesting for the owners of the space. Ms. Zbranca stated that in the past seven years they developed a quite positive relationship with the proprietor, although it remains a mainly commercial one. Despite this, she said, the Factory still feels like a very temporary project and they always face the possibility of not being able to cope with rising rents. This uncertainty also leads to a precarization of the involved artists who have little possibilities to plan reasonably far into the future. This is a general problem, she said, cultural workers working for many years will find themselves without a pension. “There’s nothing you really build up. You’re just filling in spaces, activities …” she added. In conclusion, Romania’s real estate market has its own unique background and rules – some of which seem not very favorable for temporary use projects. Nonetheless, some successful projects are being and were carried out in ClujNapoca. And the experts of the panel seemed to agree on the high potential of cultural and social initiatives active in the city.

The ZZZ - ZwischenZeitZentrale as an Example The two panel speakers from Germany, Daniel Schnier and Anne Angenendt, were chiefly invited to share their experiences as employees of the ZZZ ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen. This Bremen-based agency functions as a mediator organization, promoting temporary 14

The old Depozitul de Filme used to be a storage for thousands of film reels. Now it stands vacant.

use concepts and connecting proprietors, possible users, and the city authorities. Funded by the city, they also help the users with financing and knowledge. Today, they are a team of four and have realized 123 temporary use projects, Daniel Schnier said, involving many more people. The ZwischenZeitZentrale is or was part of the Urbact II and III projects REFILL (2015-2018) and TUTUR (2013-2015). REFILL is an acronym for Reuse of Vacant Spaces as Driving Force for Innovation on Local Level and TUTUTR stands for Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration. With a population of 557,646 (December 31, 2015), Bremen is currently Germany’s eleventh largest city and is located in the northwest. Together with the smaller city of Bremerhaven, it forms a German state with 674,489 inhabitants. In the past 20 years, the city faced structural changes, Mr. Schnier said during the panel, with several companies facing bankruptcy and many old factory buildings and former shipyards being vacant or ending up demolished. The city’s population is stagnating, neither shrinking nor growing, Anne Angenendt mentioned but also added that “there is a pressure to attract the young, well educated people”.

Speaker Rarița Zbranca (center) during the panel.

The founding of the ZwischenZeitZentrale was a long process. In 2006, Daniel Schnier founded together with urban planner Oliver Hasemann the AAA - Autonomes Architektur Atelier, an organization through which they carried out critical urban walks as well as projects like art interventions on brownfields or in empty buildings. Around the same time, another agency called Landlotsen started as a dedicated facilitator for temporary use projects within the district Überseestadt, funded by the city of Bremen. When their contract with the city ran out in 2009, Hasemann and Schnier applied with their concept of the ZZZ - ZwischenZeitZentrale and won the competition and continuation of the project. The initial 3-year contract provided for one and a half jobs and was funded by Bremen and the German capitol Berlin. Different than Landlotsen, they did not limit themselves to one locality (Überseestadt) but aimed to start projects in all 23 districts of Bremen. Also, they put much more emphasis on developing good channels to communicate with the involved people, Mr. Schnier said. Before the ZwischenZeitZentrale, it was difficult for AAA - Autonomes 15

Architektur Atelier to acquire funding from the city due to the fact that there was little trust in them (in the years of 2006 to 2009). The relationship to the city authorities improved throughout the years. The ZwischenZeitZentrale is funded by four different departments of the Bremen senate – Finance, Economy, Ecology, and Urban Planning – and the steering committee meets on a four week basis. Ms. Angenendt described the working relationship as a quite positive one, saying that projects are sometimes developed together. Daniel Schnier called the employees of the ZZZ ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen informal staff of the city’s administration. The first projects realized by the ZwischenZeitZentrale were in spaces owned by the public, Mr. Schnier said. Nowadays, they work more and more with private owners and companies. According to Anne Angenendt, it is very important for those that there is a legal framework behind their work and that the agency supports the users of the space with knowledge, especially on necessities like fire protection. They had to learn the language of the private sector, Daniel Schnier said, but, as Ms. Angenendt stated, this is starting to pay off: “The owners are interested in what we are doing. So we don’t have to call them all the time but they start calling us.” When it comes to the actual projects, the ZwischenZeitZentrale’s concept is to “build urban laboratories”, Daniel Schnier said. They will identify vacant buildings and spaces but they are dependent on initiatives and individuals to come up with great ideas on how to use them. In the beginning, most projects were either cultural or sub-cultural ones. Nowadays, they support all kinds of projects. A recent successful example was a joint festival with the Theatre of Bremen in the city’s northernmost district, Blumenthal. Since the closing of the local wool combing plant in 2009, the neighborhood lost half of its population. On two weekends, theatre plays, urban walks, movie screenings, and many more events were organized. The festival also included social experiments like an alternative currency system. According to Mr. Schnier, the project succeeded very well in bringing people together, 16

The Palatul Urania stood empty for many years. Recently, it saw an increase in activity again.

discussing the future of the neighborhood, and showcasing what could be done with its many abandoned buildings. The city of Bremen has become very open about temporary use, Mr. Schnier said at the panel. But he also pointed out that it took the team of the ZwischenZeitZentrale a full six years to reach this situation. According to him, it is not only about good connections but also about having an extensive and successful portfolio of temporary use projects. Maybe most important is another thing he added: to have a passionate, interdisciplinary team consisting of individuals that all love their city.

A Framework as an Institutional Prerequisite The panel speakers agreed on the opinion that Cluj-Napoca lacks an institutional basis for successfully implementing temporary use projects on a larger scale. Two ideas on how to improve the situation were discussed: first Mr. Pănescu introduced the concept of a framework organization that could provide communication between the stakeholders, and secondly, the necessity of a policy on temporary use was discussed. Everything that happened so far in Cluj-Napoca in terms of temporary use projects was due to experienced, ambitious individuals and a lot of luck, Mr. Pănescu said. That also included the founding of the Paintbrush Factory. Everybody operated largely on their own and outside of any framework. He added that some kind of umbrella organization could be vastly helpful in improving the temporary use scene. Especially, the matchmaking between owners, users, and the authorities could be very helpful. An umbrella organization could give much more credibility to agreements, Eugen Pănescu believes. Such an organization could also help in creating awareness with the public and serve as a basis for exchanging knowledge.

Film screening on November 2, 2016 (Photo: R. Puțeanu).

Discussing the actual composition of such a framework organization, Rarița Zbranca stated that all parties would have to be included in it. And despite having owners, users, and the authorities at one table, they would have to agree on horizontal means of decision making. She brought forth the 17

idea of considering it more like a “council for temporary use spaces”. Mr. Pănescu warned about a round table, believing it would result in only talk and no actions. He would prefer it, if said umbrella organization had some mechanisms to ensure its efficiency. The next step – left for a future discussion – would be to define the actual outline of such an organization. Another important prerequisite to promote temporary use projects from the top-down perspective would be the adoption of a public policy, a statement of intent issued by the city hall. One of the goals of the REFILL project, Mr. Răulea said, is to get such a policy approved and also to implement it. Mr. Pănescu agreed with him and stated that it may be faster sometimes to work auto-organized by oneself, but that projects done in this manner are also far more fragile. He said that a policy was already issued five years ago but that it is inefficient and he reinforced the demand of a new policy. “I think we are making steps, but I think we should push a bit to the official side”, Mr. Pănescu added. The policy would serve two main objectives: one would be to show the administrators what they could do to promote temporary use projects, the other one would be to give the public an idea on how to monitor the work of the authorities and what to look for. The policy should also include incentives for private owners, Adrian Răulea added, like subsidies from public funds. In conclusion, both, an umbrella organization that brings together all the parties and a public policy issued by the city hall, could provide a helpful framework for promoting the temporary use of vacant spaces in Cluj-Napoca. Equally important, as Anne Angenendt stated, is to directly support cultural and social initiatives with interesting ideas. This would result in both, a top-down and a bottom-up approach being implemented at the same time.

Public Awareness and Transparency Another topic was raised when the discussion was opened to the public: the need for public awareness as a basis to successfully implement temporary use projects. Sergiu Octavian, a Cluj-based designer present at the debate, argued that public awareness and consent could put pressure 18

The screening of documentary NichtMehr | Noch-Nicht.

on the authorities to support the concept. Anne Angenendt agreed that for the ZwischenZeitZentrale it is very helpful that Bremen’s public is very interested in temporary use. According to her, a recent survey revealed that almost everybody in Bremen has an understanding of the concept. In Cluj-Napoca, it seems sometimes very difficult to interest the public and the media in civic initiatives. Audience member Dr. Laura Panait, an urban anthropologist and one of the organizers of the La Terenuri communal space in Mănăștur, said that they have a hard time in reaching the public. According to her, La Terenuri is considered periphery and the general public is more interested in what happens in the center of the city. Also, journalists are very selective in what they cover due to the overabundance of cultural and social activities in Cluj-Napoca. Daniel Schnier recalled the beginnings of the ZwischenZeitZentrale and gave the experts from ClujNapoca some ideas on how to create awareness. Early projects could be urban walks (similar to a Jane’s Walk which was held as part of the Vacant Spaces program on November 2, 2016) and it would be paramount to include members of the press for these. He acknowledged that this might not always be easy – but the press is the most effective way to reach both the general public and the politicians. Another idea, he put forth, was to create a short documentary film about temporary use and its benefits and to publish it on the video-sharing platform Vimeo. Ultimately, Mr. Schnier said in regards to the public: “They must trust you.” But he also stated that “it’s difficult, I know. And it’s a long way.”

The Spitalul de Urgenta Cluj in Mănăștur remains unfinished due to a dispute about ownership.

In context with this, also the issue of transparency was discussed. All panel speakers agreed on its importance – Mr. Pănescu stated two examples where he believes a higher degree of transparency could be very helpful in promoting temporary use: rent conditions and the rules of how subsidies are awarded. Besides public awareness and transparency, the panel also debated the creation of databases as a means to encourage temporary use projects. Adrian Răulea of the Cluj Metropolitan Association stated that it is known that there is 19

a demand for temporary space but it is unclear how big it actually is. According to him, databases for available space and initiatives with a demand for space are needed. Eugen Pănescu generally agreed that such an overview could be very helpful, he suspected, though, that a database of available space would naturally only reflect the owners’ data and thus represent the market view. Daniel Schnier presented a website created in Germany by the institution Komm in die Gänge based in Hamburg’s district Gängeviertel: the Leerstandsmelder (English: vacancy detector, is a platform with user-generated content open to everybody. Thus, it proves very effective in collecting comprehensive data on vacant spaces. “Transparency is the main issue”, Mr. Schnier said, “the main idea is to bring people together, to share their knowledge. Openness is the key!” Mr. Pănescu mentioned, that he heard about a somewhat similar project in Budapest, where an organization collected lots of data on empty buildings (see He doesn’t know what said organization does with this information, though, he added. Summarizing, everyone on the panel agreed that a rise of public interest in temporary use would be one of the best prerequisites to further encourage related projects. And to achieve this, trust and transparency – from all involved parties – would be mandatory.

Closing Remarks The panel discussion Second-Hand Spaces shed a light on several issues related to the temporary use of currently vacant spaces in Cluj-Napoca: the current situation was discussed, which sees temporary use as a ‘hot topic’ with a few examples already in use in the city – but still a much greater potential to utilize. The Bremen-based ZZZ ZwischenZeitZentrale was introduced as an example of a mediator organization, something which could be established in Cluj-Napoca in the future, too. Finally, the different tools needed to improve the situation and promote temporary use were discussed:  An umbrella organization  A public policy 20

The CFR-owned Turnul celor o mie de trepte is a 50 meters high construction currently vacant.

 Creating awareness within the broad public  Databases that collect information on available spaces and initiatives with a demand Mr. Pănescu also presented an idea on how he would like to continue: he proposed to have further discussions every three or four weeks, culminating in an extensive strategy paper that should lead to the formation of a framework for promoting temporary use. He added, that he believes it to be important that Cluj-Napoca creates something of its own – while examples like the ZwischenZeitZentrale are valuable as providers of ideas, he would prefer an organically grown local organization rather than a mere copy. This would ensure, that people would be more passionate about it, he believes. In the end, the moderator aimed to prepare the participants and audience for the fact that there will not be any swift solutions: “What I’ve learned from all these experiences: they take an incredible amount of time.” He said that it could take years to come to the desired results and that a crucial task for every activist in this field would be to manage his or her own disappointment. However, speaking about the occurrence of changes in urban planning and public involvement, he added: “But they eventually do. If you’re still around then is another question. But they eventually happen.”

Dr. Laura Panait at the Jane’s Walk (Photo: R. Puțeanu). 21

A full shot of the panel speakers during the discussion on November 2, 2016.


Further Reading Balicka, J. (2013). Berlin, Zwischennutzung, Gentrification and Public Participation. Quarterly Estonian Urbanists‘ Review 13.

Blumner, N. (2006). Planning for the Unplanned: Tools and Techniques for Interim Use in Germany and the United States, Berlin, Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik. Horne, M. (2014). Temporary Use of Pop-Up Environment’s Potential for Repurposing Neglected Buildings and Spaces. Thesis, Atlanta, Georgia State University. Lüber, K. (2015). Second Hand Spaces: Temporary Use of Property. Online at 0490709.html (as of Dec 7, 2016). Urbact II (2014). TUTUR Final Report: Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration. Online at / 1 (as of Dec 7, 2016). Urbact III (2015). REFILL: Reuse of Vacant Spaces as Driving Force for Innovation on Local Level. Online at al_to_be_published_0.pdf (as of Dec 7, 2016).

All scientific articles mentioned here are freely available online. 23

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.