Suggest projects that can improve public spaces: streets, sidewalks, squares, parking lots, parks…
Register: MAR/18/2022, Submit: MAR/18/2022, Eligibility: Students, architects, designers, urbanists, engineers, artists, activists and anyone interested in the fields of design and architecture; individually, teams with an unlimited number of members, Fee: 59 EUR (DEC/13 – DEC/28/2021), 89 EUR (DEC/29/2021 – MAR/04/2022), 119 EUR (MAR/05 – MAR/18/2022), +22% VAT, Awards: 1st Prize: 3,000 EUR, 2nd Prize: 2,000 EUR, 3rd Prize: 1,000 EUR, 4 Gold Mentions: 250 EUR each, 10 Honorable Mentions, 30 Finalists
During the last Venice Biennale, the Lebanese curator asked the entire architectural community about “How Will We Live Together?” putting the focus on how architects, urbanists and designers could contribute to define new spaces of social interaction and cohesion. The world situation during 2020 provided a unique opportunity to explore different ways of understanding and adapting public spaces. Cities were forced to transform streets, parks and mobility in general, to adapt to a new reality. The pressure to rethink public spaces brought immediate responses that confirmed the power of Tactical Urbanism and demonstrated the urgent need to guarantee urban areas capable of coping with rapid change.
The post-pandemic situation could be seen as an occasion to improve the quality of outdoor facilities for citizens all around the world. In this way, the re-appropriation of public space should be guaranteed not just for the expansion of private activities, such as cafes, restaurants and bars, but mainly to provide the entire community with new functional areas capable of filling urban voids with life and interaction.
Today, the challenge is to design inclusive and accessible spaces, capable of reflecting the diversity of the infinite categories of potential users and encouraging citizens to “LiveTogether”. The so-called Smart City remains undoubtedly the one capable of placing the human element at the centre of every project, providing its inhabitants with high quality urban environments.
Over the last decade, cities have experimented with urban space transformations through colourful, pexible and light interventions. It has become more and more common to come across these type of projects in both, small towns and metropolises.
Tactical Urbanism proposes an innovative design approach that aims to achieve long-term urban regeneration with short-term actions. In certain cases, due to the positive impact that these interventions have generated in the urban realm, projects that were once thought of as temporary have now become permanent.
Working at the scale of a street, a block or a building, tactical tools have the power to improve liveability citywide. Similar to the way acupuncture inserts needles into one part of the body to boost the wellbeing of the entire organism, a “tactical” project can lead to positive changes in an entire neighbourhood. It can be considered as a tool for carrying out experimental projects of high communicative value, aimed at improving public spaces or even conceiving completely new ones.
Tactical interventions may vary signiflcantly in scope, size, budget, and support. However, they all share the common goal of rethinking the public space with a creative approach.
Participants are invited to explore and experiment with innovative strategies, original ideas and unconventional concepts. The key point is to be able to think out of the box in order to imagine lively and attractive urban scenarios which guarantee permanence, interaction and variety of uses. The challenge is to reinterpret what is commonly known as traditional public spaces, such as parks, streets, playgrounds and squares, with a strategical vision capable of providing them with new features of multifunctionality and flexibility.
Following the principles of Tactical Urbanism, participants are therefore asked to propose original and unconventional projects able to improve the current conditions of public spaces or even to achieve totally new ones.
The ability to combine design and functionality in the same project are key factors that can help to ensure its success. Don’t forget to pay attention to the aesthetical value of your proposal: the use of certain colours, textures and materials can make the difference.
Scalability and modularity can be fundamental aspects to be taken into consideration when developing the concept. How many different activities can be carried out in the same place? Howcould an urban void be transformed in order to foster social interaction? Be creative and explore all the possibilities to imagine a new kind of public space!
In this competition there is no specific site where you should develop your proposal: each competitor or group is encouraged to choose its own urban context where to locate the project.
Any city, any town, any neighbourhood can be the perfect environment where to place your intervention. The choice however must be justified by the project itself and its connexions with the urban context. It must have a clear relationship with the new use and program, and a strong link to the local community or potential users.
In an effort to contribute to the research of innovative design strategies around the world, “Tactical Urbanism Now!” encourages a variety of possible geographic locations in order to explore and develop alternative proposals.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN SITE
There are no limits when it comes the time to choose the project’s site. Public space is so varied within the contemporary city that participants are deliberately left free to decide whether to intervene on streets, sidewalks, squares, parking lots, parks or any other space that has potential to be transformed.
Hundreds of spaces can be suitable for a tactical intervention and what matters the most is has been chosen. Designers are encouraged to pick up the site of their projects with creativity and perspicacity.
Sometimes the perfect location is just around the corner. You might have seen it through the window during lockdown or perhaps while you were coming back home from work. Maybe it is in your neighbourhood or close to a friend’s house…
Freedom of choice is our philosophy and everyone’s own experience can open a wide range of potential suitable contexts. The possibilities are endless and who knows… maybe an abandoned urban void or a simple parking lot can become an amazing new public space!
DESIGN A TACTICAL INTERVENTION
The challenge of “Tactical Urbanism Now” is to give the possibility to each participant to experiment with innovative ideas in order to come up with original projects. Therefore, designers are free to propose ony kind of program that has the power to bring new life to an urban space.
The size of the intervention can be totally variable and it will depend on the proposal itself. There are no maximum or minimum dimensions to respect: the most important aspect is the positive impact that a tactical design can generate in a certain context and the creative way in which it can give answers to contemporary urban issues.
Detecting common situations such as the lack of shade in a public area, the need for extra urban furniture in a “Piazza” or for instance the necessity for lighting devices to make an area safer, can be starting points to outline a strategical program.
The analysis of these kind of cases can be helpful to design a project that not only solves a specific problem, but also aims to enrich public space with new uses and activities.
The following subjects can be useful to define your proposal: problem, target, concept, story.
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