So some of you might remember that I flew to the United States in November to attend the BUILD conference in Detroit, which was hosted by the German Marshall Fund. During that trip, I also conducted preliminary fieldwork for a project that I was titling “Vacancy, Reuse & Creativity – A Cross-Atlantic Study of Urban Reinvention in Small and Mid-Sized Cities.”
I met a lot of fabulous people working in exactly these topics, which build off of my work on schrumpfende Städte and my book Urban Development through Culture. This spring, one of these new contacts, Jacqueline Taylor, and I successfully applied for a mini-grant from the German Marshall Fund to conduct a transatlantic pilot study to gather strategies used by cities with a large number of vacant buildings to reactivate these spaces. We will be looking at both temporary and permanent interventions over the course of three fieldwork trips in Germany, the US, and wider afield in Europe during 2018.
I’m thrilled at the opportunity to conduct this research and I can’t wait to see what we turn up. You can have a look at the full project sketch here.