Crisis and temporary public spaces: reflections from London, UK

Kamvasinou, K. 2024. Crisis and temporary public spaces: reflections from London, UK. in: Roberts, M. and Nelson, S. (ed.) Research Handbook on Urban Design Cheltenham, Glos., Northampton, Mass. Edgar Elgar Publishing. pp. 367-389

Chapter titleCrisis and temporary public spaces: reflections from London, UK
AuthorsKamvasinou, K.
EditorsRoberts, M. and Nelson, S.
Abstract

The paper reviews the evolution of temporary public spaces in the UK focusing on milestone periods of crisis with historical references to the countercultural projects of the 60s and 70s, as well as the meanwhile lease projects of the 2008 global financial crisis and the more recent adaptive responses to the COVID19 public health emergency.

Through presenting UK projects initiated by local authorities and other organisations that included temporary adaptations of streets and green spaces to the pandemic, temporary public spaces are critically assessed to show how they fulfil not only a functional and aesthetic role but most importantly a social purpose at times of crisis, providing much needed public space amenities to disadvantaged communities as well as enabling agency and a sense of place ownership for diverse users. This is compared to temporary public spaces as marketing and branding tools in property-led developments, to reflect on the actors involved in initiating, managing and using temporary public spaces and their varying agendas - from grassroots and artists to voluntary organisations, developers and local authorities. I also reflect on the typologies of temporary public space as identified in the UK and other countries as well as the implications for longer term public space design.

The methodology includes literature review, original case material from previous research on temporary uses in London and analysis of material gleaned from reliable internet sources (eg. local authorities websites, friends' groups, etc) on specific COVID19 related initiatives.

Book titleResearch Handbook on Urban Design
Page range367-389
Year2024
PublisherEdgar Elgar Publishing
Publication dates
PublishedJan 2024
Place of publicationCheltenham, Glos., Northampton, Mass.
ISBN9781800373464

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