Second Hand Spaces – Recycling Sites Undergoing Urban Transformation

Session #2 Panel Discussion | Tuesday, June 25 | 12:00-13:30
Auditorium Maximum JU (Aula Mała)

Sub-Theme: Change and the City: Urban Spaces as Catalysts for Change

M.Sc. Sarah Oßwald & Michael Ziehl
(second hand spaces partnership)

skaterWithin urban transformation plenty of industrial areas and ordinary buildings fall lastingly vacant. What is widely considered as a problem for urban development can become a valuable resource for what is defined as second hand spaces. [1]  At vacant sites, second hand spaces draw on the atmosphere, the traces, the remains, and the history of their previous uses. Their actors develop an individual aesthetic out of such sites, which stand out due to their simplicity and improvised quality. New ideas are tested and moments of surprise are created in the city. Second hand spaces evolve against a background of different demands on urban spaces and provide opportunities for interaction, participation, and start-ups at reasonable rents. They open up new courses of action for urban planning and at the same time make a lasting contribution to urban transformation. The organization of second hand spaces is individual and marked by the do-it-yourself mentality of their actors. Traces of use play an important role. They make it easier to try one’s hand, inspire use, characterize the site, and even lower the rent. The mostly financially weak users of second hand spaces recycle the material and immaterial values of vacant sites for economic, ecological, social, and cultural reasons, redefine them, and create something new out of them.

Due to the transformations currently taking place in our industrial and knowledge-based society, the demands urban dwellers make on their urban spaces are also increasingly changing. It is necessary to design the required adjustment processes to be as sustainable as possible, also in view of climate change and diminishing resources, whereby ecological, economic, and social aspects have to bear a balanced relation to one another. Second hand spaces provide urban planning with suitable solutions for this task, for the practice of recycling results in buildings and brownfields being reused, revalorized, and reintegrated while conserving resources. At the same time, in many places second hand spaces already make a valuable contribution to the sustainable design of urban transformation.

This lecture focuses on the actors of second hand spaces, points out the sustainable effects of their practices and gives several European examples for designing urban transformation in a sustainable way by the help of second hand spaces.

[1] (Ziehl/Oßwald/Hasemann/Schnier (ed.) (2012): Second Hand Spaces. Recycling Sites Undergoing Urban Transformation. Jovis Verlag, Berlin).

SECOND HAND SPACES (about the book)

M.Sc. Sarah Oßwald

She is a geographer from Berlin and has been pursuing the issue of temporary use in theory and practice: Seven years ago she initiated urban camping in a former public pool in the middle of Berlin (Tentstation). Sarah has contributed to the ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen (temporary use agency) since2009. Together with her colleagues she published the book "Second hand spaces – Recycling sites undergoing urban transformation" in June 2012. She also belongs to the founding team of the association OpenBerlin, which is responsible for the Berlin, a collective online platformto show vacant sites.

M.Sc. Michael Ziehl

Michael Ziehl (*1980) lives in Hamburg. He is a graduate engineer in the field of Architecture and Master of Science in urban planning. His work focuses on temporary uses and user-based urban development. Besides various project-related activities, he is also the co-operator of the ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen (ZZZ), founding and supervisory board member of the “Gängeviertel Genossenschaft 2010 eG” and co-initiator of “” Together with his colleagues from the ZZZ he published the book "second hand spaces" in June 2012.