In recent years, significant public and media attention has fallen on a growing number of innovative temporary land use projects in the UK. But this phenomenon has not yet been met by any rigorous in-depth analysis of the financial, social and environmental contributions of these projects. 

This new research undertaken for Nesta in 2014 and 2015 seeks to address that by looking at eight case studies - all time time-limited projects on open land in London, Bristol and rural Wiltshire. They include a 300 foot water slide, a maize maze, an affordable workspace, an urban orchard, a circus top events space, a restaurant, urban farm and community growing space. Each case study examines who led the project, why, the benefits and costs and to whom they accrued, the extent to which they were innovative, the nature of any public policy relations, and the risks and lessons associated with each project.

These case studies then provide the basis for mapping stakeholders and a proposed cost and benefit framework for considering the financial, environmental and social value of other innovative temporary land use projects. This suggested framework offers a structured approach to weighing up a range of benefits and costs together with a number of relevant indicators. 

The report then considers the implications for public policy: exploring policy precedents and how and why public bodies might support interim use at a local or national level. It then makes a number of targeted recommendations for both practitioners and policymakers.  

Please see a copy of the report here [link]