Pop-Up Architecture as Urban Regeneration
Lähdesmäki, T. (2016). Pop-Up Architecture as Urban Regeneration. In J. Jordaan, C. Haddrell, & C. Alegria (Eds.), Dialectics of Space and Place across Virtual and Corporeal Topographies (pp. 263-274). Inter-Disciplinary Press. https://doi.org/10.1163/9781848885103_024
© 2016 Inter-Disciplinary Press. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Inter-Disciplinary Press. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Recent ideas in urban planning, conceptualized e.g., as New Urbanism, emphasize the humane point of view of the city. The focus of these ideas is on the citizens and their experiences of feeling comfortable and at home in the urban space; people´s possibilities of spending leisure time in the city centre; and enabling the encounter of different people in the city space in order to bring the inner city to life. To revitalize the less used, unused, or decayed city spaces by using them as venues for diverse cultural activities is a part of these ideas. The means of urban regeneration often rely on ambitious and permanent transformations of the urban space, such as constructing cultural infrastructure and spectacular buildings for cultural or leisure use. However, one of the frequently used methods of urban regeneration today is the use of temporary architectural intervention into the city space: setting up nonpermanent structures, constructions, or buildings for cultural or leisure use. This kind of ‘pop-up architecture’ may even be regarded as a category of ‘new genre public art’, because of its artistic, social, and communal emphases. One of the EU´s urban initiatives – the annual designation of the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) – encourages European cities to promote various forms of urban regeneration as a part of city development. The limited length of the designation (one year) has led the designated cities to implement and host various temporary architectural projects in which the city space is intervened through various tactics and to reach diverse goals. In the paper, I will investigate the goals and tactics of temporary architectural projects in the recent ECOCs, and discuss how the architectural intervention in the urban space is aimed to work as a means of urban regeneration. The theoretical framework of the paper relies on discussions in the fields of cultural policy research, urban studies, and visual culture studies. ...
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