The toolbox in practice in the context of six regeneration initiatives across Europe
The overall challenge as the backbone of the meanwhile strategy in Trafaria is understood as ‘bridging the gap between Academia and society, contributing to unlock value and meaningful impact for the local communities’. This challenge reflects the composition of the Local Coalition (formed by members of NOVA University from two different faculties), as well as the type of redevelopment which is ultimately aimed at creating a new higher education pole in the area.
The set challenge recognises that the development of the IAT can unlock various benefits especially in terms of employment, education and cultural and social development, yet it also risks reinforcing dynamics of gentrification and uneven urban development that may exacerbate and accelerate the social conflict. At the same time, it recognises that for the IAT to become an integrated piece of the local urban fabric, an in-depth listening of the local communities is needed, hand in hand with the establishment of close relations and collaborations with the existing landscape of social and cultural initiatives within and around Trafaria. Temporary uses are thus understood and leveraged to embrace and link these two aspects, engaging with the local communities to better understand the site and its heritage, anticipate educational and cultural activities that can become permanent, raise awareness and momentum around the regeneration plan, and overall contributing to weave people in places through the lens of cultural and creativity-led community building.
Two innovation missions set the ground for temporary uses in Trafaria:
Mission 1: Shared, Locally rooted identities: This mission looks at temporary uses as ways to explore the history, memories and social and cultural meanings that are present in Trafaria, engaging the local communities in a collective discovery, (re)appreciation and sharing of the key cultural dimensions that stand as the backbone of its own identity. Harvesting and collecting these stories is a fundamental step for the Local Coalition towards creating a strong identity for the IAT, protecting and promoting the heritage and the social and cultural values that exist on site.
Mission 2: Innovative Education and Training. This mission understands temporary uses as ways to prototype and anticipate functions and activities that can become more permanent features of the future IAT. The mission specifically looks at educational, knowledge and skills-oriented activities and programmes that explore the thematic focus of the IAT – i.e. arts, culture and technology in their various facets, and that can start providing opportunities of learning and skilling, while attracting young and creative energies and talent from surrounding areas.