Sustainable conversion's best practices around Europe



Compass partners have developed video spots to tell the stories of ecological conversion's best practices from the ground up in  Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Romania. Art, energy, urban gardens, knowledge: we narrate inspiring experiences bringing together social and ecological sustainability and reinventing spaces for the community.

Find out more watching our 5 brief videos subtitled in bulgarian, croatian, german, italian, romanian and english!


The Paintbrush Factory - Conversion of a former factory to a contemporary art space, Cluj Napoca, ROmania

The Paintbrush Factory (Fabrica de Pensule) is a collective space of production and distribution of contemporary art as an independent cultural center. The center is located in the former paintbrush factory, gathering 29 contemporary art spaces: artists’ studios, galleries and cultural organizations active in fields like visual arts, contemporary dance and theater. The project started at the beginning of 2009, as an independent initiative to bring together ideas, events and projects of cultural organizations, galleries, producers and independent artists in Cluj and as a reaction to the lack of local production and exhibition spaces in the city. It is the first collective project of such dimensions on the Romanian cultural scene and also one of the most relevant examples of converting an industrial building into a cultural space. The artists, galleries and organizations – active in the fields of theater, contemporary dance, visual arts, arts in public space, music – are jointly engaged into delivering relevant cultural content, both for the artistic community and the wide audience. Besides artist studios and production spaces, The Paintbrush Factory also hosts events of local and international partners. It acts as a major player in cultural and urban policies in the Romanian context.

Conversion of the Former Military Complex in Koprivnica, Croatia

There is a quite large potential for the conversion of ex-military buildings and complexes in Croatia, numbering around thousand objects. So far, not many buildings were converted for civilian purposes. In this short movie you will see the example from City of Koprivnica. Main aim of the conversion was to reach high level of energy efficiency combined with renewable energy used in the building. The methods and measures shown in this example are part of the overall local energy policy dedicated to the long term energy sustainability.


Mauergarten in Berlin, germany

The video “Mauergarten, Berlin” is a case study about a previously fallow ground in the centre of Berlin. The site is located on the former death strip of the Berlin Wall between the districts of Gesundbrunnen (West-Berlin) and Prenzlauer Berg (East-Berlin). The film shows a best practice example of bottom up participatory activity on public property. The persons interviewed are talking about how this project was initialized and how it works today. They are also talking about the obstacles they had to deal with and how problems could be solved; in fact, they show how a grassroots project like this was able to create a successful example of urban gardening in consideration of the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy and society.


The Melpignano Community Cooperative, Italy

This video is showing an interesting example of how, in collaboration with local authorities, organised citizens can promote radical change towards environmental and social sustainability through private/public cooperation. In Melpignano, small town of 2000 inhabitants in south Italy a community cooperative was created and installed solar panel for renewable energy production. As the video will show, this example is really interesting as the money from electricity sale, surplus energy not directly used, is re-invested for further sustainable interventions and to support the improvement of life quality and job opportunities in the city.


Transforming street electric power posts into canvas of art in Sofia, Bulgaria

Turning public “empty” spaces into canvas of art have shown substantial significance first in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria and then followed by other cities in the country. This project have started small and turned big due to the high social acceptance and change of public image of the companies for distribution of electricity in the country. The project had and continues to have big impact on the space we live and work. In this short movie you will see how it started, how it was financed and how its financial viability through the time is achieved.