“The Rise of the Temporary City
by David Lepeska. 5.1.12
While artists, activists and event organizers have embraced the pop-up phenomenon, urban visionaries have remained overwhelmingly concerned with permanence.
That may be changing, according to The Temporary City, a new book by urban planner Peter Bishop and environmental scientist Lesley Williams that outlines a greater appreciation for immediate outcomes and temporary activities among planners, architects, developers and city officials.
“An alternative approach to master planning is beginning to emerge,” the authors write.
Temporary uses are nothing new. Nearly all of the 200 buildings of Chicago’s magnificent 1893White City came and went within a few years.* And the reclaiming of public space has been going on for more than half a century, in free zones like Copenhagen’s Christiania, a squatters’ settlement founded in 1971.
The continuing economic crisis has curtailed development funding and increased unemployment, particularly among the young and educated. Many cities have lost sizable chunks of population, leading to vast swathes of vacant property. And today’s constant communications capabilities have made organizing events much simpler and quicker.
Combine these with the appeal of time-limited exclusivity and you have a boom in pop-ups, like the recent weekend-long mall on Cambridge’s Newbury Street, or the 10-day food truck park, with furniture, plants and a performance space, in Surrey, England.
These enrich urban life, acknowledges Bishop, but it’s the grander, longer-lasting temporary projects that have begun to alter thinking in the field. Eric Reynolds of Urban Space Management created London’s Camden Lock Market a few decades ago. Initially a group of temporary cart stores and retail outlets in and around vacant warehouses, it has since become one of the city’s most popular markets and helped rejuvenate an overlooked neighborhood.”
Via: The Atlantic Cities
Photo: Peter Bishop
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