viernes, 1 de febrero de 2013

Week picks #13


Mobile and temporary public projects have become part of the repertoire of spatial production in our cities. Over the last years London (as well as numerous other cities) has seen a flurry of temporary and mobile architectural projects which turned vacant land into spectacles before disappearing again leaving behind memories of short lived alternatives.

A culture of temporary projects has developed which allows architects to work in more direct and spontaneous ways with places and communities while at the same time challenging assumptions about architectural practice and the production of public spaces.

Initially driven by architects or artists and often funded by cultural institutions temporary use has moved into the sphere of city planning. The in between use of vacant land has been adopted by developers and city councils as part of a longer term strategy to keep vacant areas active while using a minimum of resources, often relying heavily on local volunteer networks and the initiative of individuals. What started as a bottom up tactics has become top down strategic thinking.

The website aims to take a critical look at the practice of temporary use in London and investigate in detail what the legacy of those projects can be, what values are created and who are the ones benefiting from the collective efforts.


San Francisco's streets and public rights-of-way make up 25% of the city's land area, more space than all the park area combined. Many of our streets are excessively wide and contain large zones of underutilized space, especially at intersections. San Francisco's "Pavement to Parks" program seeks to temporarily reclaim these unused swathes of land and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public spaces.

San Francisco's Pavement to Parks projects are inspired by the recent success of similar projects in New York City - where plazas and seating areas have been created in excess roadway simply by painting or treating the asphalt, placing protective barriers along the periphery, and installing moveable tables and chairs.

Each Pavement to Parks project is intended to be a public laboratory for the City to work with local communities to temporarily test new ideas in the public realm. Materials and design interventions are meant to be temporary and easily removable should design changes be desired during the trial-run. After testing their performance, some spaces are reclaimed permanently as public open spaces. Seating, landscaping and paving treatment are common features of all projects.


Local Projects is a media design firm for museums and public spaces. While innovation drives much of today’s design, we’re interested in creating projects that endure.

We create media that is integrated into architecture and online spaces, and that connects people with the world and each other. Many of our projects are about co-creation: gathering visitor stories, or collecting opinions, or memories. We look to create experiences that inspire awe and wonder.


We are an independent, not for profit organisation that aims to be at the centre of creating better places – and a better city. We champion excellence in design quality and advocate for an inclusive and informed approach to the development of our city.

Our work covers 3 core strands:

  • Engagement
  • Education 
  • Enabling

With a basis of experience, expertise and research built up over 20 years, our programmes are designed to encourage dialogue, debate and learning about how architecture and public space affects our daily lives, and to enable people to discover and understand how they can really influence change in the built environment.
We are the only organisation that actively involves such a variety of stakeholders across London, connecting up those that plan, design and build the city to those that live, work and play in the city, both through our own action research and in our advocacy, education and engagement programmes.

Week picks series features every Friday some initiatives and projects I found or want to highlight on this blog. It will help me to track new findings from community groups, startups or local governments working and delivering solutions relevant to the issues of this blog. I often bookmark them or save them on Tumblr while I wait to use them. Maybe this a good way.

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