As far as I know, Milan has the first coherent policy of leveraging its own real estate as a tool for change. There are plenty of opportunities, with different sizes, locations, and goals. This includes cultural spaces in Fabbrica Del Vapore (fascinating old factory close to the center) and three large buildings (from 450 to 2,000 square meters + courtyards); even a sports center of 4,500 square meters. Contracts of 3 to 6 years, ranging from 8 to 20K EUR a year (The Reef in Brussels currently is about 25K). We know these people quite well, and can access information.
How about these:
I am aware of those. But Milan is a city, Italy’s most important business and knowledge hub. Out there, it’s basically tourism monoculture, with a bit of gourmet agriculture in the mix. The department of infrastructure’s call is explicitly geared towards running B&B-type things. It’s great. But it’s not for everyone.
I knew it is an industrial city. Why it’s not for everyone?
I was also wondering if these opportunities are real? What is stopping people from re-occupying these villages / small cities?
Well, I for one prefer to live in cities, and I like to work in things like research and consulting. This is unfeasible from a rural area. Not everyone wants to run a B&B.
What is stopping people from occupying those places? Nothing, They are just not that attractive. Maybe the landscape is beautiful, but there are no jobs, no services, no social life, no culture/arts/entertainment… This is why their price went to zero. And still, there are few takers.
The Milan story is very different. Those are valuable spaces. People do not use them because they do not have the legal right to do so – they belong to the city. I predict there will be a lot of takers. If Edgeryders were in Italy, we’d definitely apply.