manifesto (english version)

Manifesto for temporary re-use


A close look at some European cities shows us how, where commercial development hasn’t prevailed, many unused areas have become the testing ground for a number of different populations, new forms of art, music, pop culture; these areas have represented the starting point for associations involved in social projects such as temporary dwelling, but also entertainment, gardening, and small informal commercial exchanges.  The undefined and open nature of these areas has been attracting and inspiring informal economies and new forms of self-organized services for the city. 

Could it be possible for unused areas and land to find a temporary adaptive re-use during the stretches of time (years, sometimes decades) elapsing between their old and new function?

According to research, in Milan today there is an estimated offer of over 1 mil sq. m of railway depots, around 50 unused farms and farm warehouses, over 70 empty buildings within city limits, and estate agencies report some 885.000 sq. mof un-rented office space..

The question we are asking is, when it is not possible to invest in re-activating unused areas and deserted land, is there a viable temporary alternative to shutdown and abandonment?


Our purpose is to target empty, abandoned or under-utilized existing building stock and land, owned by public or private entities, and re-activate them through designs such as cultural and associative projects, small business and handicraft start-ups, temporary dwelling for students and low cost tourism. All of this regulated by temporary use price-controlled contracts.


The economic, social and urbanistic goals that TEMPO RIUSO enucleated are Urban regeneration in terms of requalification of the building stock, its protection from acts of vandalism and decay, cooperation with the third sector, control of land consumption, support of local communities in the self-organization of land and self-promotion of services.


TEMPO RIUSO aims to proclaim competitions for ideas on temporary re-use, to start-up and manage temporary use of land and buildings, to create a database where supply and demand of temporary re-use can meet, to implement a management model of temporary re-use through an Information Point.


Temporary re-use practices could become a part of the public policy agenda of Milan and its metropolitan area, where projects in temporarily allocated land are subsidiary to, and not substitutive of, permanent services to the community. Temporary land is allocated with a loan-for-use formula, or at a price-controlled rent, to non-profit organizations or low income subjects for the start-up of micro businesses and the development of social and cultural projects. Projects in temporary spaces entail the involvement of local actors and the relevant public activities.


We are activists and researchers of the cultural association Cantieri Isola and the group and we promote the research/action TEMPO RIUSO on the grounds of experience and experiments of temporary re-use in Milan and abroad. We ask for the cooperation and support of all of you who believe that aggregation, creativity and cultural exchange are compatible with the self-management, care and development of under-used or abandoned land in cities.


Events, open seminars and workshops have given associations, artists, old and new craftsmen the opportunity to subscribe to TEMPO RIUSO in order to take advantage of available temporary loan-for-use spaces. If you want to support our campaign for temporary re-use, sign our manifesto, make yourself heard or simply be informed of spaces that will be assigned through upcoming public competitions write to us at Grazie!