Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative Book Pops Up to Bring Attention to Shrinking Cities
The College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) recently published Pop Up City, the second volume in the CUDC’s Urban Infill series of publications about emerging urban issues. Pop Up City is a collection of essays that promotes temporary use strategies as an emerging economic development and urban design tool, particularly for cities experiencing population loss and large-scale urban vacancy.
The temporary use movement has become a phenomenon in Europe, particularly in Germany's shrinking cities where former industrial and commercial properties are being transformed into temporary market places, venues for extreme sports and cultural events, outdoor art installations, gardens and agricultural sites and community gathering places.
The Pop Up interpretation of the temporary use concept has been alive and well in Cleveland for the past several years due to the efforts of Terry Schwarz, senior planner at the CUDC. Schwarz has designed and sought funding for several Pop Up events, including a Leap Night Festival, a Pop Up urban restaurant and Bridge Mix, a temporary installation under a bridge in a neighborhood on Cleveland’s near West Side.
Temporary interventions such as Schwarz’s efforts are intentionally low-cost and limited in duration. They provide a holding strategy that activates vacant land in ways that do not inhibit and can often facilitate a long-term, profitable future use of that empty space. Pop Up City introduces the idea of temporary use to a wider U.S. audience, so that this concept can become an integral part of the tool kit for designers, planners and community activists as they approach the issues confronting cities that are downsizing.
The publication is intended to be both pragmatic and inspirational. Essays describe the most effective methods for promoting temporary uses for vacant urban space; the regulatory barriers to be overcome; and the economic, social and aesthetic benefits that can be derived from short-term interventions. The book includes examples of recent and imagined temporary use projects, along with drawings and photographs that convey the impacts of these projects.
In addition, the center section of the book underscores the theme of the publication — it pops up in the manner of a children’s book. The CUDC received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to support the production of this special feature of the publication.
Contributing authors from Germany and the University of Illinois-Chicago provide a global view of the temporary use phenomenon as a counterculture urban development strategy and examine existing efforts in temporary reuse efforts, including transit. Schwarz chronicles the development of Pop Up City in her contribution to the publication.
Pop Up City is an urban design resource and an artfully designed object. The publication is the second in the series Urban Infill. The first entry in the series, Cities Growing Smaller, was published last summer. More information about the Pop Up City initiative can be found in the fall 2008 issue of Kent State Magazine .
Schwarz and Assistant Professor Steve Rugare edited Pop Up City.
The book was produced with the generous support of the George Gund Foundation and the Graham Foundation. More information about the publication is available on the CUDC Web site.
View the Pop Up City Book Trailer in this week's multimedia feature.