WIT Press

Transformative Temporary Use


Free (open access)





Page Range

233 - 241




2,863 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Z. Kotval, P. Machemer & J. Mullin


Communities employ land use planning as a way to standardize how a community looks and to ensure that land uses are distributed in an efficient and ethical manner. A temporary, seasonal, or interim use is in effect for a defined purpose and a set period of time, after which it expires. Finding productive, temporary uses for underutilized (e.g., park, sidewalk) or vacant land and buildings can reverse disinvestment, foster a sense of community, curb crime, save on maintenance costs, spur economic activity for surrounding businesses, create market demand, and raise property values. Temporary uses can be an effective community and economic development tools. This guide explores four increasingly popular temporary uses: events, urban agriculture, building reuse, and street vending. Keywords: temporary, seasonal, interim, use, planning, economic, development, events, reuse, vending. 1 What is a temporary use? Throughout the United States, in community after community, there is increasing interest in revitalizing older, built-up areas. The motivation comes from many sources, including the smart-growth movement, the desire to protect green areas, and the need to maximize infrastructure investment. It also comes from the need to maximize the tax reserves: vacant land pays very little. Planners have many means at their disposal to stimulate interest in these vacant areas, but enabling active temporary use is one that is becoming increasingly popular and which, to date, has received only limited attention. The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze temporary uses and explain how they can be of economic benefit to smaller communities struggling to create vitality and maximize their tax bases.


temporary, seasonal, interim, use, planning, economic, development, events, reuse, vending