Mediating ‘Temporary Use’ of Urban Space: Accounts of selected practitioners

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

125 Downloads (Pure)


‘Temporary use’ of vacant space is becoming increasingly recognized as an approach towards more flexible, experimental, and resource-efficient urban development and as a channel for local initiatives and participation. In recent research, the importance of ‘mediators’ for temporary use has been identified but not explored in greater detail. The mediation of temporary use can be seen as an emerging approach and practice for architects, designers, or urban planners. This work expands beyond the material or spatial aspects of traditional architects’ or planners’ work, as it includes more sociopolitical dimensions, such as handling complex relations and collaborations among various actor groups.

This article is based on four qualitative interviews of selected established and experienced temporary use mediators in European cities: Ghent, Bremen, Nantes, and Riga. To elucidate the everyday work, emerging competencies, and challenges found in the emerging area of temporary use mediation, this article presents descriptive accounts of temporary use mediators’ work. These accounts identify some relevant contexts and conditions of mediation work as well as illustrate the work and roles of the selected mediators and their relations between main stakeholder groups. In addition, based on a thematic analysis of the interviews, the article discusses three core themes in temporary use mediation: managing and building relationships among
actors; bridging conflicts; and disrupting dominant traditions, values, and norms in urban planning and development. Linking these themes to relevant theoretical concepts and discourses, the article further points out potential areas for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilt Environment and Architecture as a Resource
EditorsMinna Chudoba, Ari Hynynen, Magnus Rönn, Anne Elisabeth Toft
PublisherNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-983797-4-7
ISBN (Print)978-91-983797-4-7
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books
EventNordic Association of Architectural Research Symposium: Built Environment and Architecture as a Resource - Seinäjoki, Finland
Duration: 31 May 20181 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameThe NAAR proceedings series
ISSN (Electronic)2535-4523


ConferenceNordic Association of Architectural Research Symposium


  • Temporary use of space
  • Urban planning
  • Participatory Design
  • Mediation


Dive into the research topics of 'Mediating ‘Temporary Use’ of Urban Space: Accounts of selected practitioners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this