Make_Shift City: Renegotiating the Urban Commons

by Francesca Ferguson

ISBN: 9783868592238


YEAR: 2014


Can architects and planners renegotiate the ”urban commons”—shared spaces and shared resources? Can temporary actions or urban interventions in public space serve as the basis for another kind of planning? Which civil economy follows from such an urbanism of small acts?

Makeshift implies a temporary or expedient substitute for something else, something missing. Make-Shift City extends the term to embrace urban design strategies. “Make-Shift City” implies a condition of insecurity: the inconstant, the imperfect, and the indeterminate. It also implies the designing act of shifting or reinterpretation as a form of urban détournement. Austerity urbanism and the increasing scarcity of resources among the cities and boroughs of Europe in particular has far-reaching consequences for civic space. Where there is a lack of regular planning processes, gaps arise as open spaces that enable an ad-hoc informal urban design. What often results is a process of urban commoning: the renegotiation of shared spaces and shared resources. This urbanism of small acts is an emancipatory practice; a re-imagining of the city space and its potentialities.