18 may 2012

Terrains Vages

Many post industrial cities are paralyzed by their large scale land vacancies. Planned around industries that no longer exist, their sizes far exceed the resources available to them today.  

terrainsvagues.org was established as an independent private initiative;  a thinktank escorting vacant urban landscapes during their repositioning.  Founded with the belief that cultural concepts can succeed where conventional approaches have not, terrainsvagues incubates vacancy strategies into cultural concepts able to underpin larger scale private investment.  Through creative management of vacant land and space, we inspire new discussion about its future potential – elevating vacancy management from what is a stop gap measure into a place’s largest opportunity for reinvention.

In Buffalo, urban agriculture is transforming once residential, abandoned land into small farms to serve local groups. While farming is a first step in repurposing vacant land, this singular activity can be supplemented to attract a broader audience to the area. ARTFARMS was conceived to specifically insert a cultural dimension into the ongoing reuse of vacant land.

New ideas for the vacant land must be developed and tested at the neighborhood scale and good ideas that work locally must resonate beyond.  While the ARTFARM installation is only one approach, it has potential to support a larger scale concept – a neighborhood as an ‘urban gallery’.  

terrainsvagues second step, Buffalo Visions of Identity (B_VOID), is an international urban competition inviting top level firms to submit their visions for transforming vacant landscapes at the neighborhood scale into new and unusual uses.

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