Robert Temel

Temporary Urban Spaces. Concepts for the Use of City Spaces, Basel, Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser 2006, 284 pp. (German and English edition; ed. with Florian Haydn)

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Glossary from the book, extended

Book Reviews:

“Temporary Urban Spaces is a revealing book to help us reconsider how we can see and use our city space to encourage democracy. Although primarily about the German condition, editors Haydn and Temel have provided all planners a text to reflect upon how we can re-conceive the potential urban space, temporary as it may be.”

James M. Mayo: “Haydn, Florian and Robert Temel, Eds.: Temporary Urban Spaces: Concepts for the Use of City Spaces. (Book review)”, in: Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Institute of Urban Studies, Vol. 16, Issue 2, Dec. 2007

“This is a compact and useful book that is referenced throughout with lots of web sites that explain the work, projects and ideas beyond the limits of the page. It opens our perceptions to other ways of thinking about the city.”

Paul Clarke: “
Review of ‘Temporary Urban Spaces: Concepts for the use of City Spaces’”, in: Perspective, The Journal of The Royal Society of Ulster Architects, Vol.16/No.3, 2007

“New approaches to the planning and the use of public and private space have begun to spring up in cities the world over. Here, the spotlight is no longer on the master plan, or the making of long-term arrangements. Instead, the ephemeral, trial and error, and the unplanned are gaining legitimacy in many cities the world over. Temporary uses are both indicators of this development and beneficiaries of a new way of seeing.

This not-so-temporary journey (it gets quite wordy) starts off with a brief definition index, exploring the meanings and implications of words and issues like the temporality versus the temporal nature of such events. Strategies, as long term solutions, are compared to tactics, as short term guerrilla solutions, which are aimed at achieving a certain short term goal in a given period of time, maybe in hope for permanent deployment in the future.

Covering the use of temporary spaces in the urban context, this volume features 10 essays from 10 experts on the topic, supported by 35 fully photographed sample projects that have been instrumental in establishing temporary use of city spaces of late, in the United States and Europe. Not so much a coffee table read, Temporary Urban Spaces seems more a useful glossary of examples from which to take reference from.

[...] Read this book, and I dare say you’ll be getting creative with your own HDB [Housing Development Board (Singapore government agency)] void deck sooner than you can say ‘Temporary’.”

JJ auf fivefootway

The book is also part of a “10 books for the desert island” list of a designer, together with authors like Hakim Bey, Marshall McLuhan and Mike Davies.

Modell des Marktes für zeitgenössische Kunst | Diagram: Rosebud, Inc. Modell des Marktes für zeitgenössische Kunst | Diagram: Rosebud, Inc.