Learning from temporary use and the making of on-demand communities in London’s Olympic “fringes”

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Abstract

Community-oriented temporary uses are a subset of interim use in vacant urban spaces, alongside creative and commercial practices. Its proponents argue that they can inform more incremental and residents-led local urban development. Under urban austerity, however, temporary uses can become vehicles for the short-term and conditional delivery of social benefits. In this paper, I analyse a community-oriented interim use project commissioned by a public development body as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games urban regeneration program. Drawing upon policy analysis and interviews with planners, policymakers, architects and community members, I unravel competing discourses, positions, power dynamics and temporalities, and their relationship to the Games’ legacy. The paper contributes to debates about the normalization of temporary urbanism and pop-up geographies in times of urban austerity, shedding light on the potential long-term implications of the logic of “on-demand communities” in urban development and planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-427
JournalUrban Geography
Volume41
Issue number3
Early online date21 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020

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