In the twenty-first century, the human race is more connected, more entwined by mobile electronic technology and more aware than ever before of the necessity to conserve and reuse resources.

Business and corporate property managers are facing big challenges in tough times as global economies struggle. Vacant spaces in buildings can overwhelm the dynamism of an area, relegating the brightest and shiniest of property developments to a ghost town.

Sadly for property managers everywhere, viewing deserted ground floor spaces in an office estate once filled with cafes has become a modern metaphor for the forsaken and derelict companies that have been unable to survive the global financial climate.

For the people hidden in concrete office towers, a lack of community areas or lively hubs makes the monotony and dreariness of work life all the more inescapable.

However, there is a simple solution for all this waste of space: just add people. Repurposing disused dining and café spaces for collective business lounges, board rooms or networking areas and outsourcing catering needs to mobile food trucks, not only makes good economic sense to the canny property manager; the added color and energy associated with a visit from a food truck can reinvigorate a stagnant area.

In a recent survey of food truck customers, 92 percent said the trucks improved the streets, squares and parks they trade in, making these areas feel more welcoming. And 72 percent of customers said food trucks made an area feel safer.

The same respondents to the survey “saw clear benefits of the trucks in terms of activating underused sites,” and said “the trucks provide extra lighting and a welcoming atmosphere to every site at which we trade”.

Some food trucks even have a dedicated following due their affinity for social media. Just like in the movie Chef, food truck chefs have taken to the internet to build their own community and many customers may travel up to several miles to dine at their favourites. Food trucks are now acquiring their own celebrity status and are particularly appealing to the younger, hipper social media natives known as the Millenials.

The activation of spaces that utilise food trucks as a viable economic and social alternative to bricks and mortar restaurants, is seen as a benefit to communities and the human landscape, according to a thesis by Alison Sheppard of MIT.

Ms Sheppard believes the resulting deployment of food trucks “act as a magnet in otherwise ubiquitous landscapes by bringing people to sidewalks, alleyways, and parking lots that otherwise go unused. This ability to create hubs of activity and interaction can be capitalized on by planners, policy-makers, and designers seeking on-the-ground, low-investment mechanisms to improve the urban environment.”

Including food trucks in the redevelopment and reworking of existing office estates not only re-interprets the exterior space without creating extra cost for the developers, they help create an upbeat, lively diner-driven experience that will ultimately enhance the office estate itself.