Early transformation Early transformation above: The Re:START container mall managed by Rough and Milne Landscape Architecture breathes new life into Christchurch, New Zealand, following the devastating earthquake in 2011.

There are long term benefits in applying ‘interim use’ strategies to development projects. Not only can they deliver a rapidly deployable stop-gap for longer-term regeneration, but also become a prototype of the character of the new development.

By quickly animating and activating an empty site, stakeholders develop an early understanding of its potential as a place.

There are opportunities for early wins by developing interim income streams and enhancing desirability for future tenants. What’s more, businesses may also flourish and provide readymade tenants that can migrate into permanent space over time – it’s basically soft marketing for subsequent development.

The ‘temporary use of vacant buildings or land for social or economic gain until they can be brought back into commercial use’ is a practical way to use the standard pauses in property processes. These are usually derived from the traditional cycle of design, permissions, build, market, tenant, re-market that every development undergoes and a tool for regeneration.

"Utilise land today rather than wait for tomorrow"

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