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An unusual initiative by developers in Poznan. They have made part of the plot available for a socio-cultural space. It is to serve local integration

02 of July '21

Two development companies that plan to build a mixed-use district in Poznań have decided on an initiative rarely seen in Poland. They made part of the land available for so-called temporary development. A socio-cultural space was created there (which was also prompted by the developers) - the Barracks of Culture, which is intended to foster the integration of the local community and initiate activity for the benefit of the common space. This is a uniquely apt example of gentrification and city-building activities. How does the space intend to develop?

The plot in question is located close to the city center, on the border of two districts, Lazarus and Grunwald, precisely between Matejki, Grunwaldzka and Ulanska streets. It used to belong to the Poznan International Fair, but in 2020 it was bought by development companies Revive and BPI Real Estate Poland, with the aim of putting up a mixed-use district there. They recently decided to make part of the site, where no construction work is currently taking place, temporarily available for a new socio-cultural venture - in line with the idea of temporary development. The space in question is the Culture Barracks, which is set to launch on July 3 and become a meeting place, as well as a venue for cultural, creative and educational events. The initiative is guided by the ideas of community, building good relations in the local community and taking care of the planet. The developers have entrusted the running of the Culture Barracks to Ferment Kolektiv.

An unusual gesture by a development company toward culture

The developers' decision to make a plot of land available for pro-social and cultural activities is certainly a rare move. There has been no such initiative in Poznań so far. Why did the companies decide to make such a gesture? Representatives say it is mainly for social reasons and useful use of the land.

For us, the temporary development of the site is a way to integrate the local community. We are providing an interesting and previously unused space for a meeting place and a space for cultural events. This is widely practiced by us in Belgium. Now we want to transfer our experience in this area to the Polish market. The area in Poznań ," said Alexandre Huyghe, CEO of Revive.

We want to give a new dimension to the space, on which we will realize a modern, multifunctional project in the future. The site is perfectly located, all the more deserving of thoughtful use. We create our investments with people in mind - their future users, so we want them to serve the local community even before construction begins ," added Béranger Dumont, CEO of BPI Real Estate Poland.

The initiators of the project argue that in this way the local community can get to know the place better, and even its future tenants or residents. They also stress, the purchased plot of land will not be transformed into a new residential district, but enriched with mixed-use development. Temporary development can be very diverse, but it must be compatible with the future character of the site and the ecosystem of the local environment.

The site of a military barracks in Poznań, which has been developed into a temporary socio-cultural space

© Ferment Kolektiv

Give new life to an old, unused space

Ferment Kolektiv, on the other hand, talk about the temporary development of the site as a kind of recycling of an old space - giving it new life with the participation of the local community. This is one apt example of grassroots urban and cultural activities, as well as a textbook example of gentrification of urban areas.

When creating a story about the Barracks, we often talk about the temporary development of the site. We call it "recycling" of the area, because we are temporarily repurposing a place, not used by anyone. During this time, we can talk to residents about their ideas and needs for the space and the planned new neighborhood, " reads a post on the Culture Barracks' Facebook page.

Ferment Kolektiv stresses that an important part of the Barracks' activities will be activities for the existing nature.

It's also worth noting that the temporary development of the former barracks grounds is an activity to nurture culture. The grounds of the former barracks are historical, architectural, natural and cultural heritage. The initiators of the Barracks of Culture project argue that making the land available is an opportunity to enrich the urban space with a social dimension, developing the identity of the new place, built on the basis of local history and topography.

Remains of the military barracks

© Ferment Kolektiv

program for the whole month

The Culture Barracks opens on Saturday, July 3. A number of cultural attractions have been scheduled for this day, which is expected to be just a foretaste of future ones.

During the opening event of the Barracks of Culture there will be an opportunity to jump on a trampoline, play maxi jenga and dominoes, take part in an off-road city game, as well as games and activities organized by the Poznan Ambient. For children and parents, we especially recommend the concert of the band Song Cow, which is famous for its extremely energetic, upbeat and full of positive thinking music, and the performance "Strange Animals" directed by Marianna Piskorz - reads the collective's press release.

Ferment Kolektiv also presented a program of events and meetings for the entire month. It is available on steon

Katarzyna Domagała

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