In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space. Infill architecture usually refers to the re-dedication of undeveloped land to new construction, and it circumscribes a variety of scales, approaches and typologies. Viewed by some as a means to counteract the urban sprawl, making use of existing infrastructure and by others as a decrease in potential public space and possible overloading of urban services, infill architecture is a debatable and nuanced topic. However, for a variety of reasons, from densifying urban centres to restoring coherence to the urban fabric, the underlying potential of residual urban spaces is a subject of great interest. In light of the rising urban population and high value of land in cities, it is worth examining different ideas, urban initiatives and projects that could paint a comprehensive picture of the infill architecture phenomenon.
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