Reusing Abandoned Buildings for Community Development

Reusing Abandoned Buildings
for Community Development

Around the world there are so many abandoned buildings that were once cared for. Over time, whether through decline of populations or neighborhoods shrinking, the number of disused buildings increases. When a town or city has too many empty buildings it can show the community is in distress so it’s often something that needs to be addressed. This is especially true if the city has a specific aesthetic or style to uphold. Instead of building new properties to replace those not in use that could change the look and feel of the destination, cities are trying to reuse the original properties where they can.

What are the benefits of using old buildings for community development?

When you have a city with multiple buildings that are empty and not being used, it begs the question “what should we do with them?”. Instead of letting them stay empty or wasting city resources by knocking them down, they can be reused by temporary “residents” including artists, students or anyone else who needs a temporary space. This allows the city to recycle their buildings with neighborhood revitalization, community development and without needing to spend money on renovating or rebuilding every time they stop being used. 


All across Japan, old historical buildings are being preserved. These buildings are sometimes over 100 years old, and have been gently renovated enough so that instead of being a waste of land in their respective destinations, they can be reused with a new lease of life for holidaymakers or workers. Here you can book unusual places to stay in old and disused buildings through Nipponia.


Germany is another country that has shown to be a big player in the community development and neighborhood revitalization programs. With so many buildings now sitting abandoned across large cities like Leipzig, Berlin and Chemnitz to name a few, are fixing up many of their old factories, apartment buildings and more in order to spark new life back into their old run-down areas of their respective cities. To give you more insight into the group running this project, you can check their site here.


With many abandoned towns and cities across this mediterranean country, The ReUse project focuses on community development by breathing new life into once-loved-now-abandoned architectural properties. Along with neighborhood revitalization, the project aims to create awareness to the growing problem of traditional structures being left deserted, and finds new ways to bring them to the forefront of public attraction.

Issues with abandoned properties extends worldwide and in some places its become a much larger issue than expected. However, with many projects aiming to recycle and reuse many of these traditional buildings, there is hope that with more of these properties being filled by temporary residents or experiencing neighborhood revitalization, that they can keep the traditional feel to the overall city or town they are located in. 

If you’d like to help support these projects worldwide, you can choose to stay at the converted properties which are now unusual places to stay, plus you can visit the renovated architectural structures being used in other ways. Your visit can help these projects to continue running and improving neighborhoods.

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