Sowing on concrete
Temporary uses for public areas

When land marked for redevelopment is left empty between the planning and implementation phases, local governments often resort to fencing it off or turning it into a cost-effective temporary use, such as construction storage or parking. But there is scope for more creative solutions, solutions which benefit, and are led by, the local community. An example can be found in Ghent’s Rabot quarter, where an urban renewal project, ‘Bruggen naar Rabot’ (‘Bridges to Rabot’) will see the site of a former factory turned into houses and green space. Until then, the one-and-a-half hectare concrete floor has become a meeting place for the local community, complete with barbecue equipment, a bread oven, 80 allotments, two greenhouses, community gardens, a football pitch and a children’s farm. As well as helping to develop a sense of community, the ‘Site’ contributes to the neighbourhood’s socio-cultural and socio-economic development. So much so that the city is searching for other spaces in the area for the successful temporary projects. 


Date: Thursday 28 November 

Hours: 14.00 – 17.00

Number of participants: up to 35 participants

Connected to: EUROCITIES  Social Affairs Forum


Mode of transport: by bus (meeting point: De Bijloke, Bijlokekaai)

Location: the ‘Site’ in the Rabot district

End point: M with a view (Gasmeterlaan 110)


You’ll explore the ‘Tondelier’ project area, where citizens, organisations and companies located around the neighbourhood are invited by the city of Ghent and the developers to carry out community projects on the wasteland. You will have the chance to visit several community-oriented initiatives around urban agriculture, football and catering. These initiatives involve vulnerable residents, such as immigrants, young people and the homeless, and thrive thanks to the guidance of 'samenlevingsopbouw' (community development) and the help of the local currency, the ‘Toreke' (  You’ll then hear about how the city of Ghent together with the project developer is trying to find sustainable solutions for some of the successful projects taking place on the ‘Site’.



14.00 – 14.30:  transport by bus from Bijloke to the ‘Site’ 

14.30 – 15.30:  walk through the neighbourhood to explore indoor and outdoor smart community projects

15.30 – 15.45:  formulate ideas for the ‘Site’ and earn Torekes (local currency) to exchange for an elevator ride to the
                         temporary restaurant ‘M with a view’, on the roof of a factory building, for coffee and cakes

15.45 – 16.00:  coffee break in ‘M with a view’ 

16.00 – 16.45:  temporary uses  – the story

16.45 – 17.00:  Q&A