Is a ‘renew’ project the right approach?

The whole idea of a “Renew” project is to use spaces that are temporarily empty to incubate experimentation and activity.

It is not about trying to create permanent arts centres or enduring infrastructure. It is not a particularly effective way to house a single arts project.

It is about reusing and recycling temporarily empty spaces to create hubs, clusters and pockets of interesting new things and catalysts for new creative activity.

You need empty space!

The best candidates are places that have been or are likely to be temporarily empty for some time. The key element of this approach is that it requires underutilised spaces. Typically underutilised spaces can be found in:

  • Regional centres that have seen periods of economic decline and recession;
  • Old main streets that have been losing out to major shopping centres or changing retail patterns;
  • Stalled or partially consolidated development sites – where a developer or landowner has bought up a lot of land while planning for a development that is not yet ready to proceed;
  • Transitional government land such as old schools, hospitals, community facilities or other places that might be sitting empty for a period of time until their long term use is resolved, they are sold, or larger schemes are funded
  • Upper floors of CBD office buildings with high vacancy rates or no tenants, or
  • Anywhere else there has been a market failure and property is sitting temporarily empty.