This research project by Krystallia Kamvasinou assisted by Sarah Milne aimed to investigate whether vacant spaces can be beneficial for local communities if officially brought into interim creative uses. It built upon a historical review of interim spaces (UK and international) to focus on London in the current downturn.
Recent initiatives in London were examined through an empirical study of local creative use in five interim sites representative of such initiatives. The research design comprised of on-site filming and interviews with initiators, volunteers and users, site surveys, a web blog, and a public workshop open to all participants, while research outputs included academic publications and short films.
The project made an original contribution to key debates including: how to introduce incremental and adaptable planning in development and how to engage communities during the process; worries over the standardisation of space and the search for alternative types of urbanity; and the need to acknowledge everyday practices and the social and ecological value of places.
It was the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (RF-2012-518)