Urban voices unplugged
Tactical urbanism and the right to the con/temporary city
“Urban voices” is an arena organised as part of the research project Demosspace. On December 7, Professor Don Mitchell from Uppsala University will present ideas on con/temporary urban development, followed by six talks about three places in Oslo. We wish to discuss if and how new forms of temporary, small-scale and street projects contribute to a truly creative city, to an inclusive urban development, and to more evenly distributed powers amongst citizens and small entrepreneurs.
“Tactical urbanism” was initially a community- and activist-based approach to temporary and grassroots urban initiatives, and to contribute to more affordable and accessible offers in the city. Centred on the citizen, tactical urbanism aims to make cities more liveable. Guerrilla gardening and pop-up events and parks are examples of the approach. As urban scholars such as Ouli Mould have observed, tactical urbanism has been adopted and used by both public and private developers as a strategy to increase attractiveness in new, as well as in established, city districts.
Initiatives of tactical urbanism have come to flourish in Oslo in later years. We wish to explore initiatives that are temporary and connected to public space in Oslo – those engaged by both small and large city developers – in three different areas: Oslo centre, Tøyen, and Bjørvika. Torggata and similar central streets are developed with new offers of special stores and creative spaces. At Tøyen, there is a buzz of small neighbourhood-grounded projects. In Bjørvika, temporary spaces have been filled with activities such as art, bread baking, and allotment gardening.
Our questions to be addressed by “voices” from these three areas are:
– What do temporary events and small-scale offers give to the city’s development and inhabitants?
– Are these urban redevelopment strategies targeting the population broadly or just particular groups?
– To what extent do the strategies include actual bottom-up participation and influence?
Welcome/introduction, Heidi Bergsli (NIBR) and Melissa Murphy (NMBU)
Don Mitchell: Tactical urbanism – or strategic appropriation?
Oslo’s centre developed: Sverre Landmark, Communications & community manager, Aspelin Ramm Eiendom AS
Torggata researched: master student Lars Petter Klem (UiB/NIBR)
Tøyen developed: Sarah Prosser, Advicer in social entrepreneurship and innovation, Områdeløft Tøyen (area-based initiative for the neighbourhood of Tøyen), City district of Gamle Oslo
Tøyen researched: Ingar Brattbakk (AFI HiOA)
Bjørvika developed: Anne Beate Hovind, Project director Art, Bjørvika Utvikling AS
Bjørvika explored: antipodes café: Tuva Langfeld and Felipe Ridao
Debate, monitored by Gro Sandkjær Hanssen (NIBR)