30 September 2016

The Adaptive Reuse Toolkit

Be the first to share
Media
Business
Services
Social Issues

The Adaptive Reuse Toolkit – How Cities Can Turn their Industrial Legacy 
into Infrastructure for Innovation and Growth
by Matteo Robiglio
Policy Paper, September 2016
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF)

All over in the world, industrial infrastructure is being creatively re-purposed. Culture, leisure, sport, research, education,design, services, production, residences, and even agriculture are bringing life back to abandoned factories. This process is called adaptive reuse. Adaptive reuse can be sparked by whomever feels the power of the industrial past and dares to imagine a future for its legacy.

This toolkit pulls from examples in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Detroit to illustrate how many U.S. communities,despite often still facing hard post-industrial crises, have managed to reuse their industrial legacy and to make it into a positive asset for their future development. Cities and cases have been selected to illustrate the power of innovative processes and projects based on private-public partnership, bottom-up initiative, community involvement, and smart design despite difficult conditions (declining demography, local welfare crisis, weak real estate values, or scarce investment perspectives).

The toolkit provides a basic definition of adaptive reuse and then examples of how places in the United States have implemented this concept locally, activating industrial spaces to become new community assets. The experience of U.S.post-industrial cities is rich in providing lessons for European communities. These cities faced unprecedented challenges in reviving large industrial spaces. They also did it without the safety nets of European urban policy and public spending,but also with fewer constraints than the European planning system and a stronger tradition of civic commitment. Finally,while European cities can rely on a rich historical legacy and rooted social capital, higher mobility within the United States compels cities to innovate in order to retain and attract individuals, families, and investment.

This toolkit draws from this experience in creating an eight-step approach for how to make adaptive reuse work in your community. Written from a transatlantic comparative perspective, the toolkit outlines some specific features of adaptive reuse projects in North American post-industrial cities that could inspire European policymakers and U.S. practitioners to make adaptive reuse an ingredient of successful city remaking.

About GMF
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) strengthens transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. GMF contributes research and analysis and convenes leaders on transatlantic issues relevant to policymakers. GMF offers rising leaders opportunities to develop their skills and networks through transatlantic exchange, and supports civil society in the Balkans and Black Sea regions by fostering democratic initiatives, rule of law, and regional cooperation. Founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has offices in Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest, and Warsaw. GMF also has smaller representations in Bratislava, Turin, and Stockholm.

About Matteo Robiglio
Matteo Robiglio is an architect and founder of TRA, and a professor of architecture at Politecnico di Torino (Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy).

Be the first to share
17 July 2019
The digital lives of refugees [Research report]
There is growing recognition among donors and humanitarian organisations that mobile technology and mobile network operators (MNOs) have an important role to play in the delivery of dignified aid. This includes providing digital tools that …
24 February 2019
Ten arguments against algorithmic decision making
Against the Dehumanisation of Decision-Making – Algorithmic Decisions at the Crossroads of Intellectual Property, Data Protection, and Freedom of Information by Dr Guido Noto La Diega, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Northumbria University Law School Published …
16 February 2019
[Book] The Next Billion Users: Digital Life Beyond the West
The Next Billion Users: Digital Life Beyond the West by Payal Arora Harvard University Press, 2019 280 pages A digital anthropologist examines the online lives of millions of people in China, India, Brazil, and across the Middle East—home to …
13 February 2019
Papers on behaviour, design and the circular economy
Consumer insights into the circular economy Report of stakeholder meeting, 25 October 2018, 14 pages The "Stakeholder Meeting: Consumer Insights into the Circular Economy" in Brussels on 25 October 2018, was co-organised by the Collaborating Centre on …
11 January 2019
[Book] Left to Our Own Devices
Left to Our Own Devices: Outsmarting Smart Technology to Reclaim Our Relationships, Health, and Focus Margaret E. Morris MIT Press, 2018 192 pages Unexpected ways that individuals adapt technology to reclaim what matters to them, from working through conflict …
4 January 2019
Why data is never raw
"Except in divine revelation, data is never simply given, nor should it be accepted on faith," writes Nick Barrowman in The New Atlantis. "How data are construed, recorded, and collected is the result of human …
1 January 2019
Daniel Kahneman on cutting through the noise
You might be surprised by what occupies Daniel Kahneman’s thoughts. “You seem to think that I think of bias all the time,” he tells esteemed economist Tyler Cowen. “I really don’t think of bias that …
22 December 2018
Intel anthropologist Dawn Nafus interview on the use of data and technology in medical contexts
In an age where we can collect and store (forEVER) every second of every day, how much do we truly need… to learn? To react? To do good deeds that benefit society? Assuming we champion that, …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

5 July 2019
Experientia on addressing vaccine hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy is a top10 global health threat. Dealing with it successfully requires understanding it as a behaviour and generating a holistic view of people’s perspectives & ecosystems. This way we can identify the best opportunities for intervention. Here is Experientia’s position on vaccine hesitancy and our tailor-made support for the vaccine industry.

2 May 2019
MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition now calling for applications

100&Change is a MacArthur Foundation competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. 100&Change will select a bold proposal that promises real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. And it will award a $100 million grant to help make […]

19 March 2019
Interested in a career with us?

Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]

22 December 2018
Our very best wishes for 2019! / Auguri da Experientia!
4 October 2018
Bringing​ ​patients into focus at the Roche Innovation Summit

Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “​Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together​”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

See all articles