The European Commission is paying attention to new approaches for urban regeneration through the T-factor Project, a Horizon 2020 funded Innovation Action aimed at unlocking the transformative potential of ‘meanwhile spaces’ in urban regeneration.

Milan will play a major role in the project hosting one of the six Local Pilots that will apply the project’s insights in the MIND area. The project local coalition includes the Department of Design (Politecnico di Milano), Plusvalue, LAND Italia and Università Statale di Milano.

Temporary and ‘meanwhile spaces’ are on the rise across Europe. More and more vacant buildings, plots and unutilized spaces are serving as temporary sites for co-creative experimentation, unlocking a multitude of innovative cultural, social and entrepreneurial activities. These initiatives typically contribute heavily to building a shared public value to rewire the social, cultural and economic fabrics of an area under regeneration. In many cases, they are well positioned to become permanent fixtures of the local landscape, acting as prototypes of future neighborhoods and areas. The project calls these temporary initiatives ‘meanwhile spaces’.

The project consortium has created a coalition with cities, universities, businesses and grassroots organizations with 25 organisations from 12 countries, committed to contributing knowledge to the inclusive and thriving futures of cities and developing tools & approaches towards temporary urbanism and ‘meanwhile use’.

Years, and oftentimes decades, can go by between the approval process of a Masterplan to regenerate an urban area to its actual implementation. During these transitional times, a new generation of spaces to foster cultural, social, and entrepreneurial activities have become a determinant asset to adapt cities to the unknown.

The Department of Design, through the Polifactory’s team of researchers, and under the scientific coordination of Prof. Stefano Maffei, is involved in multiple stages and activities of the project. It will collaborate to the analysis of the local context of the MIND area in collaboration with PlusValue, also taking part to the local location in charge of running the Milanese pilot.

Moreover, it will actively participate in the operations of the Transformation Agency, in charge of providing guidance to all the 6 pilots in undertaking urban regeneration processes through meanwhile initiatives. Within the Agency, the Department of Design will lead in particular the phase of prototyping and testing of actions across the targeted masterplans, developing tools and organizing a Transformation Camp.


2020 - 2024

Parole Chiave

City Making


European Research



Urban Metabolism