What is the contribution of vacancy activation to the city? Vienna (AT)

Posted on: 21st July 2018

“Was kann Leerstandsaktivierung leisten?”

In this Blind Date we focused on the benefits and the contributions of vacancy activation. The team from Bremen and the team from Vienna exchanged with the audience their contribution to the society and the city.


space companies act as interim organisations between user and owner

The venue Raumteilerfestival

The current tendency of having small and flexible entrepreneurships does not fit with the needs of the space owners. Very often they do not have the structure to handle high fluctuations and smallest company sizes. In this regards new space companies evolve as an organisation in between, who gives the necessary size and stability to the owner of the place but also can support the activities of the smallest business by being a flexible host as well as take off the burden of infrastructure, accessibility and visibility. The Raumteilerfestival in the Nordbahnhalle in Vienna (AT) was dedicated to the needs of such entrepreneurs. In the exhibition hall all space companies could show their services and available commercial spaces in order to match with space seekers. Cooperative commercial space users presented their models.

Blind date at Raumteilerfestival KREATIVE RAUME

Blind date: What is the contribution of vacancy activation to the city?

The festival was finalized with an interactive and lively discussion by Kreative Räume (AT), Zwischen Zeit Zentrale (DE) and Austrian space companies. Kreative Räume accompanies in Vienna and Zwischen Zeit Zentrale in Bremen people in temporary use projects in vacant buildings. In a blind date they met for the first time and discussed with Viennese space companies the question “What kind of chances does vacancy activation create?”



ZZZ shares their experience with vacancy activation

In 2011 we organised with MESS a project space workshop in Kaiserslautern. ZwischenZeitZentrale presented their work as a kick-off lecture to inspire the local entrepreneurs in Kaiserslautern and encourage to try interim use the local community. ZZZ has meanwhile over a decade experience and activated various areas of the German city Bremen. In the beginning it was more an experiment. Now the temporary use is the rule. Some of their solutions became even permanent. It is a tool to strategic urban development and improvement. It is a soft regeneration of neighborhoods without employing big construction undertakings and budgets. Informal ideas and low budget projects can be tried out and bring life in vacancy. Sometimes temporary use becomes permanent part of urban life.


discussion round at the architectural blind date

Kreative Räume established three years ago and acts as an agency on behalf of three Vienese City Council offices. They consult the space seekers about legal obligations and suggest available spaces from their vacany-pool. Their aim is reactivation of vacancy, by opening them for cultural and social uses. There goal is a long-term or temporary use solution. They raise awareness and promote cooperative utilization concepts.



Moderation: Bahanur Nasya / a cooperation Kooperation of wonderland, imGrätzl.at and Mischung: Nordbahnhof TU Wien / supported by the BKA:Austria


impressions of the festival

architectural blind date participants zzz

How did you experience the festival?

I´d liked a lot the idea of the market of different offers in temporary use. Even though a lot of them were quite different from our way of making space accesseble, it was a good tool to adress a lot of people. And it showed the variety of different tasks to overcome vacancy. Oliver Hasemann / ZZZ

visitors of commercial-space-exhibition

Where are the differences between Vienna and other cities?

Vienna is a capital city. It´s huge and there are many more people working professional in this kind of creative class business. Even if everybody is connected to each other in Vienna as well, situation in Bremen is smaller and stakeholders, who do a place by their own are fewer. Oliver Hasemann / ZZZ

visitors exchange with the experts of zzz

What did you achieve?

Well, we discovered some tools, saw a very interesting place, made good connections. A lot of the challenges Kreative Räume Wien and we are facing are comparable and some are different. It´s good to see, how we can get more ideas of working on them. Oliver Hasemann / ZZZ


activation of vacant buildings - nordbahnhalle here

What do you want to do in future/continue with?

We are working in the field of temporary use for 9 years but still discover a lot of new ideas and ways of working with vacancy. The idea of an urban lab, that is offering space for everybody in need of it and is a facilitator for liveable neighborhoods is one of our goals. Oliver Hasemann / ZZZ

aim of ZZZ: Building platforms

The ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen (DE) opens temporary time windows and front doors. Temporary use projects have established themselves as practical guidlines for the democratic design of urban space and as an urban development instrument in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. Yet more potential lies dormant in temporary use projects: the goal of ZZZ is to support urban society, in particular in new neighbourhoods, through the creation of urban laboratories in vacant buildings or on vacant lots. These experimental spaces of innovation can respond to the challenges currently being faced by urban societies. In 2017 they published their contributions to the society in their book “Entstehungsorte schaffen – Building Platforms“. The book gives an overview of their experiments in vacant buildings and on vacant lots.


thomas of kreative raume blinddate

impressions of Kreative Räume





im grätzl organiser of Raumteilerfestival

impressions of imGrätzl

register for informations and news from your “grätzl”. Follow on facebook.





the aim of the architectural blind date

initiate an architectural blind date

The discussion format blind date is an informal and interactive discussion format. The speakers, moderators and participants are discussing on eye level. The topic is approached interdisciplinary. The aim is to gain new perspectives, ideas and visions. Would you like to host a blind date in your venue? Please contact us with your suggestion.

Follow the blind date happenings. Initiate a blind date. Contact us.