Temporal infill – multi-use development by the hour

 Temporal infill – multi-use development by the hour

In urban environments where space is at a premium, planners look to underused buildings and the spaces between them to explore adding function to existing form. That works in 3-D. But what if we add time as a fourth dimension in the built environment?

Co-locating retail and office spaces next door from each other or residential and retail on separate floors are examples of multi-use development. When we identify underused space between existing structures and appropriate them for a specific use, we call that infill development. Employing the two perspectives in tandem allows us to create efficient places that capitalize on density and connectivity to best serve the needs of the people, and with the least impact on infrastructure, public resources and the environment.

Consider the possibilities if we were to take existing places and explore how to better occupy gaps in usage as they occur according to the clock. We caught a story on today’s Marketplace Morning Report about an entrepreneur whose creative thinking led him to develop not new real estate, but new uses for places that are vacant on a cyclical basis. Preston Pesek‘s company Spacious provides coworking spaces inside restaurants when they’re closed for lunch. Now that’s thinking with your noodle. Restauranteurs will benefit froma new revenue stream, and those who work out of their laptop will find a place to set it down. How’s that for a shift?

Planners and designers like to say, “The greenest building is the one that already exists.” Maybe an even greener one is a time of day.

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