Building obsolescence in the evolving city. Reframing property vacancy and abandonment in the light of urban dynamics and complexity

14-10-2020 | Artikel

This conceptual article analyses how both policymakers and academics often discuss the state of buildings. Property vacancy and abandonment are generally approached statically, in an undifferentiated way and responded to with ad hoc public policies. However, there is great variety in the causes and effects of a building's state of affairs. This article adopts a more complex and dynamic view of building obsolescence to better understand the development of a building and the reasons behind its current (temporary) state.

Different set of policy options

It basically shows that a different set of policy options come into the picture when viewing the city as a complex evolving system, rather than as a ‘made order’ or ‘organisation’. Rather than policy rules and actions that are reactive and correct for undesired urban outcomes, these (framework) rules are anticipative as they facilitate and incentivize change before a building reaches a socially unwanted state. Those policy options are empirically illustrated.