Okupa la calle, crea una plaza

Temporary urbanism is a real new word for me. And when I heard the conception from our lecturer Daniel it is really amazed me. From the lecture, I learned that temporary urbanism is using some low cost, temporary ways to do some positive changes for the built urban area, which could improve the local neighbourhood environment. Compared with other serious modern urbanisms, temporary urbanism is more friendly and realizable to do. And we also have good examples of this conception. From those we learned people could do lots of things to their neighbourhoods. Adding some chairs and tables, green parks and carts anything even abstract spaces, no matter what could provide a space for people to gather and have a good time, like the project in Gateshead.

With the increasing development of urbanization, more and more metropolitan area appeared. However, there are still many places which are lack of vigour. One of these reason is the modern building block development. Neighbourhood are not familiar with each other and the community is lack of communication. People just use the land but not enjoy it. This situation is much similar with the time of Jacobs Jane who intended to improve neighbourhood vigour. City vitality is always important but also ignored easily by developers. (Haydn, 2006)
“The lack of resources is no longer an excuse not to act. The idea that action should only be taken after all the answers and the resources have been found is a sure recipe for paralysis. The planning of a city is a process that allows for corrections; it is supremely arrogant to believe that planning can be done only after every possible variable has been controlled. ” (Lydon, 2012)

Here are some interesting ways and examples which are easy to take actions for neighbourhoods to improve vitality. People try to enhance liveability by ways like creating mini gardens, add pavement parks, pop-up cafes, shops, even camps. And the leaders are also diverse, form, residents, activists, government, businessman and artists, etc. there is an interesting example in Los Angeles called intersection repair. This project make the intersection to be a neighbourhood gather places. They paint the intersection and make it more like a gather place where people talk and children play with each other. Another way is providing food carts or pop-up cafe. Actually, food and hot drinks for people to sit down and have a rest. One of the most popular ways is adding parks in neighbourhood whatever it is a large one or Mini Park. Green plants and land always give people a good feeling of outdoor space and attract people to have fun there. Small ones like putting some potted plant on the frontage, big ones like convert a big parking lot for about one hundred cars to a relaxation park. Even some mobile parks which could be moved to wherever you like. At the same time putting some chairs, tables, beaches on these parks make it more efficient. (Lydon, 2012)

By Ravenna-Bryant Community Association
Hammocks on the Berges de Seine promenade, Left Bank, Paris.

Actually, temporary urbanism is an achievable way to change a city. It already happen a lot in a large number of cities in American and European countries. It rescue urban marginal area and quite community neighbourhoods. People could do whatever they could think of. The purpose of these actions is to attract people take part in outdoor activities. It is a low cost action to make city more liveable. This temporary action could bring a long term benefit. (Nemeth, 2014) As well as known, there are lots of urban facilities do not be used after they are built. This is because the organizers did not do a survey of need of these facilities which is a waste of time and money. However, if someone could some temporary action in a neighbourhood first, then see if this action is useful and popular and decide to have a building or long time facility for this neighbourhood, it will save lots of money and manpower.

Haydn, F., Temel, R., Skogley, D. and Lindberg, S. (2006) Temporary urban spaces: concepts for the use of city spaces Basel: Birkhäuser

Lydon, M. (2012). Tactical urbanism 2, short-term action//long-term change, The Street Plans Collaborative. Available at: http://issuu.com/streetplanscollaborative/docs/tactical_urbanism_vol_2_final?e=4528751/2585800

Nemeth, J. and Langhorst, J. (2014) ‘Rethinking urban transformation: Temporary uses for vacant land’, Cities, 40(10), pp.143-150. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2013.04.007

Oswalt, P., Overmeyer, K. and Misselwitz, P. (2013) urban catalyst: the power of temporary use. S.l.: Dom Pub

Tardiveau, A. and Mallo, D. (2014) ‘unpacking and challenging habitus: an approach to temporary urbanism as a socially engaged practice’, Journal of urban design, 19(4), pp.456-472. doi: 10.1080/13574809.2014.923743