Because of economic shifts, changing tastes and other developments, certain buildings and building typologies become obsolete. Although sometimes aesthetically fascinating, the resulting vacancy is not only an eyesore to many, but also has a negative effect on the public domain, economic viability and other aspects of the city.
The financial crisis caused a lot of vacancy, partially because it exposed the perversities of the rapid flights of capital inherent in comtemporary real estate practices. But is has also proven to be a blessing to both the vacant buildings and local initiatives that surround them. In the absence of the funds to tear un(der)used buildings down and redevelop them, this extended temporary state provided a chance for both low-key and the more upscale, short and longer term reuses to flourish, experiment and diversify. Often, these new uses have proven to revitalise not only buildings, but also entire areas (sometimes even actively invited and subsidised by local governments).