What is the Temporary Urbanism Lab (TUL)?
The temporary urbanism lab is a platform of ideas' sharing and aims to act as catalyst for research collaborations. It gathers a range of members within the University of Birmingham and externally. It gathers both experienced researchers, early careers academics, students and practitioners. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me. The list of current members can be found below.
What is Temporary Urbanism?
Temporary urbanism refers to any planned or unplanned actions designed and thought through with the ambition of activating (or in some cases deactivating) a space in need of transformation and thus of impacting the surrounding socio-economic environment. Temporary urbanism involves adaptability and sits within a mix of time scales; it is connected to the planning system but is not solely limited to it.
Temporality urbanism embraces diversity specially by involving a range of decision-makers and users and aiming to foster change by producing alternative visions and projects whose aim is not to be sustained but to evolve with the space and its users. Such urbanism requires specific skills and technics as it challenges existing ways of thinking about space production as a much more flexible and fluid process.
Temporary urbanism is about urban studies, not just about urban planning. Within urban studies, a range of empirical studies of temporary urban sites and initiatives have been produced, primarily looking at bottom-up processes, but barely none have been sharing a similar theoretical framework and concepts. A huge amount of work has been produced towards organic and mainly bottom-top types of initiatives looking at a range of angles. Far less studies have been looking at formalised and top-down temporary urbanism featured as a key component of the transformation of a space or at temporary practices aiming to deactivate a space (i.e. modify its use or symbolic value). One of the reasons for that being the more recent nature of the phenomenon.
The temporary urbanism lab is an informal initiative aiming to gather researchers and practitioners sharing an interest for the 'temporary', in its various forms and ways of producing, activating and deactivating urban spaces.
Dr. Lauren Andres, Lecturer in Spatial Planning, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham
Members (in no specific order)
Dr Lorena Melgaço Silva Marques is an architect and urban planner with a MPhil in Architecture (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – UFMG, Brazil) and a MSc. in International Cooperation and Urban development (Technische Universität Darmstadt and Université Pierre Mendès France). Her fields of interest include ‘bottom-bottom spatial practices’, i.e. the understanding of forms of local agency within a global structure and its relation to the production of space; temporary uses of space; and the interrelation between space, communities and technology in urban and rural spaces.
Paul Moawad is an architect and urban designer with an M.Arch (American university of Beirut) and a MSc. in Real Estate Development (Columbia University, GSAPP). Paul is currently enrolled in the PhD program at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (University of Birmingham) working with me and Dr Paul Richardson.. His doctoral research examines contested borders and transient spaces.
Dr. Phil Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. He has made significant methodological advances in the area of mobile and mixed methods, with early work developing qualitative GIS techniques to investigate personal mobility in walking and cycling. He is leading the playful methods research lab (http://www.philjonesgeography.co.uk/playful-methods-lab.html) and has been collaborating with Lauren Andres on various projects as to connect innovative methods to urban planning and temporary urbanism.
Prof. Peter Kraft is Professor of Human Geography at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. He is best known for his research on children’s geographies, and especially for research into the emotions, affects, materialities and practices that make up their everyday lives. He also publishes on geographies of education and architecture. His interest towards temporary urbanism rests upon the understanding of everyday practices, feelings and mobilities, in/around buildings and urban spaces (for example building sites) as well as on a critic of the role of architects, urban planners and other design professionals in designing spaces.
Dr. Andrew Quinn is a Senior Lecturer in Atmospheric Science and Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering. His research focuses on the interactions between infrastructure, particularly transport systems, renewable energy and extreme weather events/climate change and how these impact on the resilience of communities and services. He is interested in the connection between temporary urbanism, engineering, adaptability and resilience.
Dr. Emmanouil Tranos is a Lecturer in Economic Geography at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences focusing primarily on digital geographies. He has published on issues related with the spatiality of the Internet infrastructure, the economic impacts that this infrastructure can generate on space and the position of cities within spatial, complex networks. He is looking into the connection between temporary proximity and temporary urbanism.
Dr. Peter Lee is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Peter’s research and teaching focuses on the relationship between people and place based social exclusion, how policies are designed to reduce exclusion and increase competitiveness whilst reconciling the uneven trajectory and function of places. His latest European project USE-IT has some strong connections with TUL.
Dr Yueming Zhang is an urban geographer who recently completed her PhD at Clark University (USA). She will be shortly joining the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences as lecturer. Her work sits within the areas of urban politics and planning, political economy, looking specifically at the relationship between art and the city, and hence gentrification and displacement, in China. She has a specific interest towards the role of temporary uses in Chinese arts districts.
Affiliate and Alumni members
Dr Deyala Altarawneh is an architect and urban planner who successfully completely her PhD in 2017 in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (University of Birmingham) . Her research examined how temporary urbanism applies to the city of Amman (Jordan) and specifically assesses how brownfield reclamation supports the mitigation of social injustice. Deyala is Assistant Professor at the University of Jordan.
Dr. Tihomir Topuzovski received his doctoral degree from the University of Birmingham/School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2013. His research interests have evolved from an initial interest in the political and geographical aspects of contemporary art practices to a broader understanding of the role of territorialisation press in arranging territories. He is currently collaborating with Lauren on a research looking at the politisation of space and artistic practices displaying a new understanding of temporary urbanism (through the deactivation of spaces) in Skopje's colourful revolution.
Dr. Collins Adjei Mensah received his doctoral degree from the University of Birmingham/School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2015 and is working as a lecturer at Department of Geography and Regional Planning University of Cape Coast (Ghana). His research interests sit within the topics of urban poverty, informal settlements, environmental degradation, inefficient governance systems, and inadequate community participation, which are paramount to sustainable urbanisation. He is a strong advocate for sustainable urban development, especially integrating natural vegetation into the physical landscape of cities and as a key feature of temporary urbanism.
Charles Goode graduated with distinction from the MSc in Urban and Regional Planning in 2016 and has been awarded a 1+3 ESRC scholarship. He worked on the relationship between temporary urbanism and urban farming in Bristol for his Masters Research dissertation
Alice Jones graduated in 2015 with a BA in Geography from the University of Birmingham, and completed her UG dissertation on temporary uses in Bristol. She studied on the MSc in Urban and Regional Planning in 2017. The research she conducted for her dissertation questioned the adaptability of the planning system in allow temporary urbanism, in the case of Birmingham.
Elliott Kelly was a student on the MSc in Urban and Regional Planning in 2017. He looked at the connection between temporary urbanism and socially sustainable urban environments in Rotterdam for his dissertation project.
Mariana Monteiro De Oliveira completed the MSc in Urban and Regional Planning in 2018. Trained in Brazil, as an architect, she worked for her dissertation on temporary gardens in East London.
Prof. Boris Grésillon is Professor of Geography at the University of Aix-Marseille, UMR CNRS Telemme (MMSH), France. His main research interest rests upon the role of artists as urban producers in creative cities and hence in their significant contribution towards temporary urbanism. He is currently a senior research fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt (Berlin).
Vincent Lacovara studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and the Royal College of Art where he received a distinction for his dissertation. He worked within Levitt Bernstein Associates and Cullinan And Buck Architects before founding AOC in September 2003 when he also joined the Urban Design Team at the London Borough of Croydon. Vincent plays a key role in the East Croydon regeneration scheme, which features a very innovative interpretation of temporary urbanism.
Tom Bridgman is delivery lead within the regeneration team of London Borough of Lambeth since 2013, responsible for the central part of Lambeth, including Brixton and Clapham. His role includes bringing forward redevelopment opportunities across both the Council’s own land assets and those of our partners. He is also leading on public realm works, meanwhile projects and strategy work to support delivery. This includes the flagship project Pop Brixton (https://www.popbrixton.org).
Prof. Marcus Zepf is Professor of Spatial Planning at the Smart Living Lab (Fribourg – Switzerland). His research focuses on the strategies of spatial and territorial planning and urban renewal, particularly towards the issue of public and green spaces. His work on sustainable neighbourhoods and experimentation directly connects with temporary uses and practices, inherent to temporary urbanism.
Ritu George Kaliaden is an architect and urbanist based in Bangalore, India. An Erasmus Mundus scholar, she holds an MSc in International Cooperation and Urban Development from Universite Pierre Mendes France & Technische Universitat Darmstadt. She is currently engaged in the non-profit sector, studying how social protection mechanisms supplement the impact of livelihood training in poverty alleviation programmes. Her areas of interest include urban poverty, sustainable livelihoods, informality and temporary uses of space in Indian cities and emergent urbanism. Ritu is starting a PhD in December at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation (IZS) in Goerlitz for a PhD position in Urban Transformation. I will be acting as her external supervisor.
Liz Crump is an Urban Planner within the Design, Planning + Economics team at AECOM. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Birmingham/School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2012 and is currently studying for her MSc in Regional and Urban Planning at London School of Economics. Her dissertation questions the potential role and function of temporary urbanism initiatives in relation to more formal processes of urban planning and development through a comparative analysis of two urban contexts, London and Santiago de Chile.
Dr. Michael Martin is Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Urban Design at the Department of Architecture & Design, Aalborg University (Denmark). He is a UK/IRE academic with a PhD in Planning from the University of Manchester. His research on temporary urbanism discusses the role and function of interim solutions within the context of the development process and urban regeneration. He exploits the opportunities presented by mixed methods research to highlight what multi-city, longitudinal, statistical and mapping approaches can offer to temporary use scholarship. His datasets comprise over 5,000 cases of temporary development, available on request.