Collaborative approach right in the city centre!

POC « en plein centre »

Collaborative approach right in the city centre!

Urban-centric businesses are heckled by big-box stores and online sales. Vacant spaces keep growing within cities. How can we fight the increase of empty shop windows and abandoned streets, by giving a second chance to these vacant shops?

Experimenting in vacant spaces

Tourcoing’s city-centre is the testing ground for the project “Right in the center”, whose aim is to temporarily bring to life a dozen vacant commercial buildings, awaiting the approval of rehabilitation work. The procedure, entrusted to Fabrique des Quartiers, consists in portraying a positive image of these empty shop windows, along with activating a project dynamic facing commercial revitalisation challenges.

  • Windows are given to students and artists to decorate with ephemeral and contextualised works: graphic and colourful compositions in the shape of window stickers or vertical banners are produced with the help of teachers and students of the School of Applied Arts and Textile of Roubaix. The artist collective Triiicreates light installations through projections of images and videos.
  • Pop-up shops temporarily welcome young local artisans to test their concepts and products in real-life settings. Several workshops benefit of this experience: Atelier Winoc (upholsterers), La petite fabrique (decorative objects), Créateurs en Nord (collective of creators) and 22.25 Editions (“ethno-chic” objects). 

Anticipating the new neighbourhood…

“Right in the center” helps in anticipating neighbourhood rehabilitation projects and maximises the time lost between development and implementation. It is a collaborative and partnership-based approach implemented with the city’s services’s support. It provides young entrepreneurs the opportunity of experiencing their future activity in real life-size, while on a small budget. These temporary businesses revitalise hitherto abandoned urban centres while attracting people who had lost the habit of going there. They forerun upcoming changes and help mobilising stakeholders in the new rehabilitated neighbourhood’s dynamic.

  • Porteurs : Ville de Tourcoing / La fabrique des quartiers – MEL-SPLA. 
  • Designer : Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués et Textile-ESAAT / Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains / Collectif Triii, plasticien en arts numériques / Studio Corpus
  • Acteurs : La fabrique des quartiers / Ville de Tourcoing / Union des commerçants / EPF Nord-Pas de Calais / Arkéa banque.