the first global community born to map
and give new life to abandoned buildings



What is [im]possible living?

[Im]possible living is a crowdsourcing website dedicated to map and reactivate abandoned buildings around the world. ‪It provides services to people that, on a local scale, seek to raise, discuss, and trigger a regeneration process of unused buildings supported by a wide community.

What is the mission of [im]?

The (very ambitious!) mission is to give a new life to all the abandoned buildings around the world through an innovative way: creating a global community involved in the reactivation of abandoned building, a crowdsourced process able to generate new solutions to solve the abandonment issue.‬

How do I register and become a [im]possible liver?

You need an [im]possible living account to be part of the community. ‪It's super easy to sign up: click the ‘Register’ button on the right side of the topbar.
Enter your e-mail, username, password and, optionally, your profile picture. Then check the boxes indicating that you have read and understood the [im]possible living Terms and Conditions.
Finally click on the ‘Register’ button. We will send you an activation link to the e-mail you inserted, then click on the link to activate your account and everything is done.
It's free to sign up and fun to get involved, so do it. Come on, join us!

How can I edit my account details?

Once an account is created you can improve or edit your account, every time you want.
Click Sign in, enter your Username, Password, and click the "Sign In" button.
Now click on your Username on the right side of the topbar and then click Settings.
Enrich your personal Userpage with more information: name, claim, a description of who you are and what you do (you can also add info about the people in your team, if you have one), your Website, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.
When you’re done, click on Update.
Remember you can write in your preferred language, English, Italian ... also in dialect if you want! :)

Who can participate?

Everybody can participate: you can map or reactivate an abandoned building, or contribute to an existing building profile by adding pictures and videos, vote for your favorite places and share them on Facebook and Twitter.
With the new features now you can also be an active member of a reactivation project: find a building that you like and share the needs and ideas for the future of that building.
Everybody can vote for a need or an idea, or comment them with the Facebook widget, helping to create a chart of the best ideas or the most shared needs.
This process is enormously helpful for the reactivator to shape a concept for the new life of the building and you can really make a difference!

How can I become a reactivator of an abandoned building?

‪First of all you need to register and map the abandoned building you’d like to reactivate! At the moment the reactivation services are in beta and still experimental, and because of that they’re free. Right now we have to manually set a reactivator to a specific building, so if you want to be one of the beta tester write us and explain your project: we can help you a lot in setting your project, in particular if you have no experience (remember to also add the building profile url and your username on the platform)!
Reactivating an abandoned building is a very tough job, so be aware of that! There are several approaches that you can follow and, some of them don’t require the approval of the owner (even though it is highly recommended in any case): of course you don’t have to enter in the building or do something illegal!
An example of what we call “Light Reactivation” is the [Flash] Flash Mob, an event we organized in front of an abandoned building in Milan during the International Design Week (April 2011).
In general the first step is always to create a team and aggregate a small community. With the use of our service you can develop it, make it bigger and get their help in a very efficient way. But remember that you are dealing with a territory, that you cannot reactivate a building in a solely digital way: our world is real, people are real and if you want to act you have to know the place you’re acting in and the people that inhabit it!
We don’t want to discourage you, we want to explain how it will be! Besides this, being a reactivator is awesome, it’s going to be amazing: like everything in life, the coolest things are the most difficult!

How can I map an abandoned building?
  1. Click the ‘Add a Place’ button from the main navigation menu.
  2. Before adding a building you must ensure that the building does not exist already on the site, by entering the address of the building you want to add.
  3. In the address box type at least the streetname, the city and the country. Depending on the specific research you should also enter the postal code, province and state.‬ The geolocalization changes considerably depending on the different countries, so there’s not an universal rule to search a place: remember to be as precise as possible. You can also enter the latitude and longitude and the platform will get the information for you. The geolocalization of a place is very complicated and not always places can be found with a precise address: that doesn’t depend on us, but on the geolocalization services we use. When you enter an address the platform checks the information and gets the closest ‘known’ address to your search (civic numbers are in general very unprecise).
  4. After entering the address and pushing “enter” button the system checks if your building already exists and in that case doesn’t allow you to procede. If the building is not found some suggestions will appear, so you can see if your building has been already inserted: due to the geolocalization problems explained before, in several occasion we cannot identify a building uniquely and so we list the closest to your location asking you to check if someone already inserted the same.
  5. If your building does not exist, select the ‘Next’ button at the right bottom of the page.
  6. Insert details of the building: the building title, description, category and at least one picture. This is all that is required. But if you know more information please complete all the fields!
  7. Click the “Add” button, wait for the submission and a confirmation message should appear. If this doesn’t happen, check for the error messages.

How can I map an abandoned building via mobile?

Our (awesome) developers have created the iPhone app of [im]possible living, you can download it here.
Several folks have asked us to develop also an Android application: we are very happy to announce that it will be ready very soon, so be patient!

How can I contribute to a project?

You can contribute to a project by uploading new photographs or videos on the project page, or by adding a need or idea for the building. Your profile picture will then appear on the project page with the other contributors. Next to that your contributions will also be visible on your profile page. Favouring, voting and commenting for a building, idea, need, etc is not considered as a contribution.

How can I add a photo or a video to an existing building profile?

‪Once you have opened an existing building profile, click the camera icon or the video icon on the top right and add your pictures or video, contributing to make the profile more precice.
Regarding videos, at the moment we only support youtube and vimeo videos: if you want to add one of them just copy and paste the url of the video and, if the url is right, a preview of the video should appear in the popup.

How can I change or delete an existing building profile?

Once a building profile is created, it is impossible to edit or to delete it: we will develop edit features as soon as possible, meanwhile if you really want to change something drop us a mail.

How can I vote and share on social networks?

On Facebook and Twitter you can share the profiles of the buildings on the website. But you can also share a specific tab (mapping, needs, ideas, project board) or a specific need, idea and board message. Every item on the site has a unique url, so just take it and share it wherever you prefer!
The same thing applies to votes: using the up or down thumb, you can express your opinion regarging a building in general or a specific need or idea.

What is the difference between a need and an idea?

A need express a lack or a necessity in the specific area or in the entire city where the abandoned building is located. For the needs we considered it fundamental to define a very strict format, so they are limited to 140 characters.
For example:

  • In this area are missing recreative places for young people, where to practice sport, borrow books and organize meetings, etc
  • In this city there should be a place where startups or freelancers could rent a desk for a low price.
When you enter a need you can specify if your need relates the area or the entire city (checkbox “City Need”).

Ideas are basically proposals for the future of the building: in this case the format is more articulated. So adding a new idea requires an image (that graphically express your proposal) and a text without a limitation to explain clearly what you have in mind.

What’s the project board for?

The project board is a tab where only the reactivator can post and has been created to update the community about the progress of the work, ask for support, define milestones, communicate events, etc. In order to handle schedules, we added the possibility to embed a Google Calendar.
The other users can comment each post by the reactivator with the Facebook widget.

When will the site be available in languages other than English?

Very soon, it’s one of our top priorities! As you can see we already started supporting Italian in this page (on the top right there is a link to the Italian FAQ page), but soon the entire site will be translated and profiles will support the creation in English and in the local language. Of course after Italian many other languages will follow (Spanish, German, French, etc).
Meanwhile you can already insert contents in other languages, if you believe that they will be read by people in non-English speaking countries and that the benefit to involve an international community is limited.

What if I have more questions?

If you don't find the answer you need on the FAQ page, you can contact us, at mail [at] writing your questions. We receive a lot of emails, so try to be specific and don’t be upset if it takes us long to answer you. Eventually we will reply as soon as possible (sometimes a reminder helps :-))!

What browsers does [im]possible living support?

In order to offer the coolest features and provide the best experience we use the newest technologies, such as HTML5 and CSS3. So our website is optimized for modern Internet browsers, such as the last versions of Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari (ok, yes, also Internet Explorer :-)). We do our best to guarantee cross browsing compatibility, but it’s a tough job and not always possible!
In general, for the best web experience and also for security reasons we recommend you to always update your browser.