Occupier-Edge_Ed5_A4 - AR


Re-spacing: Bringing Back Forgotten Spaces

The conception of “meanwhile use” For centuries, we have defined use limitations for space, leaving a growing proportion dormant when a use becomes redundant. The result and effect is producing pockets of disused and neglected spaces, in turn impacting the immediate environment. However, advances in technology have made forgotten space, useful again. This has redefined perceptions of space, leading us to expect much more from it. Often occupiers have vacant onerous space which has been ‘mothballed,’ often unlettable due to quality, location, the inability to subdivide, or an unmarketable term. We are also evidencing more and more occupiers encountering exponential growth requirements which is often difficult to predict at the outset of projects.

In a bipolar economy, one of the most valuable commodities one can possess is space. Yet, in a world with an ever increasing population where more than 50% have lived in urban areas for almost 10 years – space is underutilised. The capitalisation of space is inescapable, providing boundaries and limits to how and when we use it. But what if there was a way we could make use of the vacant space which lies empty? That is where the newly coined term ‘Meanwhile Use’ comes in to play. The term relates to using space temporarily to provide an interim solution to vacant commercial space, providing social and/ or economic benefits. Meanwhile uses have grown to include a diverse range of pop-ups, affordable space for startups, guardianships, charities, teaching spaces, and artist studios, to name a few.

REBECCA WEBB Graduate Surveyor Global Occupier Services rebecca.webb@cushwake.com

34 The Occupier Edge

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