Abstract Title: ‘Let’s make a prototype’: Exploring temporary urbanism in the form of transitional urban design schemes that can be tested prior to permanent implementation
Abstract: Temporary uses of urban spaces are generally not foreseen in urban planning and design have been often connected to urban disturbances and disorder. However, temporary uses might also help reveal, elicit or test alternative urban design ideas, for example by adding or enhancing aesthetic or functional characteristics for a limited period of time. From that perspective, temporary urbanism could be conceptualised as an envisioned type of urban design rather than a substitute for permanent development.
Urban design schemes have been critiqued in regard to design goals that have not been met after implementation. This is indeed a risk, even for well-designed projects, in particular with big budget schemes. The paper discusses processes that may help minimise risks by testing urban design schemes prior to permanent implementation. Following on from Christchurch’s transitional city programme facilitated by local government and community organisations, the paper explores ideas regarding utilising transitional urbanism to test urban design schemes.
Drawing on empirical research during Christchurch’s post-earthquake recovery process, international case studies and a critique of ‘traditional’ urban design processes, the paper discusses the benefits of temporary urbanism and argues that temporary schemes could help detect potential issues that may arise post implementation at an early stage. The discussion advances the use of ‘low-budget’ urban design schemes in order to test ideas before permanent solutions are implemented, thus creating a successional urban design process. This process has the potential to assist urban designers and property developers in sourcing solutions to urban design problems through low budget means in austere economic conditions.
For more information on the 8th International Urban Design Conference being held in Brisbane this November 16-18 and to register please visit the conference website.