Temporary Place Making | Maria Elisa Marini

Temporary Place Making – revolution and new technologies transformed urban life and globalization led a “space-time compression”(Harvey, 1991) that affects citizens and city life. The result, on one hand undermines social cohesion and places lose importance and experiential value, on the other side brings out the need to find a new way for the development of urban possibilities. For this reason, against the standardization of space and social life, already in the 50s there were protests proposed by the French movement SI (Situationiste International) who introduced the concept of temporary event or temporarily built space, able to influence the urban life. The concept of temporality emerged again in 1974 when Lefevbre strengthens the link between place and time, the space is not static, and constantly changing over time.

Temporary users should easily be able to adapt to changing spaces. Other characteristics shared by the different types of temporary users are: the lack of a large capital, which affects the creativity in finding alternative solutions, a role not fully consolidated in society, access to knowledge networks and social network and availability of time.

Time is a key aspect in the definition of an event, especially in the first phase of the so-called informal where it is not necessary an architectural project, but it is important to focus on communication, on social networks and on the space production.

Despite giving the ability to create opportunities through culture, business and social service, temporary events are often incorrectly associated with the crisis and the protest. There are numerous examples of this kind in the city of Berlin, where there have been many successful cases without large capital investment. In parallel, in contexts far away from Germany, there are examples of temporary use that are leading to the redefinition of a neighborhoods such as Rivetown in Durban, South Africa.

What are the effects of temporary events on the context in which they are placed? The book Urban Catalyst introduces strategies for temporary use that lead to different effects, is it possible to adopt these strategies to contexts in which temporary event are still associated with the culture of protest (e.g. Italy)? In these contexts, is it possible to find tools of promotions? The effects of temporary uses shall apply without changes in countries where the informal stage prevails over the formal (eg South Africa and Brazil).

The research aims to broaden the information and analysis conducted so far in these areas, in order to understand what are the tools necessary to define temporary uses as a strategy capable of promoting urban development from the point of view of communication and operation . This will be investigated taking into account a series of selected case studies of temporary events areas in Berlin. Moreover the reaserch investigates on what are the effects of temporary events on the context in which they are placed, starting from categories introduced by the book Urban Catalyst (Oswalt, 2013) and if it is possible to adopt these strategies to contexts in which temporary event are still associated with the culture of protest (e.g. Italy) or in farther countries in countries where the informal stage prevails over the formal (e.g. South Africa and Brazil).