PhD defense: Anne Margrethe Wagner
Anne Margrethe Wagner defends her thesis
Authorised Temporary Urban Spaces between Vision and Everyday
Associate Professor Bettina Lamm
Professor Catharina Dyrssen, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenborg
Professor Tom Avermaete, Delft University
Professor Ellen Braae (chair), IGN
This PhD thesis examines the phenomenon of temporary use in a contemporary Northern European planning context. The background for the study is the increasing interest in initiating temporary use projects within urban development by public authorities, such as municipalities, related sub-organisations and partnerships. In this context temporary uses are more than simple short-term appropriations of vacant areas; they become tools for various planning agendas—to establish new collaborative practices, transform spaces, test future facilities in ‘light versions’ and communicate with the public. They embody a wish for ‘different’, exceptional and experimental initiatives to frame city making. While being considered ‘alternative’ urban development tools, there is also a strong desire from the side of the authorities for these initiatives to be well integrated into official planning systems and long-term perspectives. This factor seems to hold some, if not conflicting, then at least challenging aspects.
In this thesis I research the implementation of temporary urban spaces that are authorised, officially launched by public authorities, based on three case studies, two from Denmark and one from the Netherlands: a harbour transformation area in Køge, a vacant urban plot in Valby, Copenhagen and the industrial site of a former sugar factory in Groningen. I explore the assumption that while ‘temporary urban spaces’ contribute to an increasing multiplicity of spatial expressions and practices, they not only challenge established planning procedures, but also understandings and use of space. The study focuses on the various ‘shapers’ which affect the formation and conception of temporary urban spaces in urban planning, in light of the visions expressed for an area—the expectations and motives—and the everyday decisions made and spatial practices carried out. The case studies are informed by different levels of practice involvement and explored through a thematical set of theoretical lenses. The central component of this inquiry is a case-based in-depth study of the temporary use spaces and results in a set of new concepts describing spaces and practices within authorised temporary sites. The study offers a nuanced perspective on the challenges and the potentials of transitional spaces in today’s urban planning culture.
The thesis is available for inspection at the PhD administration office at Øster Voldgade 10, office 03.1.353.