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Urban Catalyst. The Power of Temporary Use

Urban Catalyst
The Power of Temporary Use

Philipp Oswalt, Klaus Overmeyer, Philipp Misselwitz

Published by DOM Publishers, Berlin | Softcover, 165 x 235 mm,
384 pages, over 200 images, 2013 | ISBN 9783869222615

In many cities, urban wastelands and vacant structures suddenly metamorphose in exuberant places. After city planners and the real estate market have failed in their initial attempts to develop them, these sites become the setting for clubs and bars, start-up firms and art galleries, migrant economies and informal markets, recreational activities and nightlife. Indeed, it is often precisely here that innovative cultural production and a vibrant public sphere are to be found. 

The 'Urban Catalyst' research team explored these unplanned temporary uses in five European countries over the course of several years, and did far more than merely analyze their hidden logic. Building on the team’s own participation in a number of different projects, Urban Catalyst examines various ways in which city planning can incorporate informal processes and describes important lessons architects and city planners can learn from temporary users

Included are seminal contributions by Azra Akšamija, Kees Christiaanse, Margaret Crawford, Jesko Fezer, Florian Rötzer, Saskia Sassen, and others, as well as key projects from European cities such as Amsterdam, Basel, Berlin, London, Rome and Zagreb.


by Kees Christiaanse

Typology of Temporary Use 
• Stand-in: Berlin-Mitte Public Golf Center, Berlin
• Free-flow: Club WMF, Berlin 
• Impulse: Art Park East, Munich
• Consolidation: Cable Factory, Helsinki
• Co-existence: Black Canal, Berlin
• Parasite: Disused electrical equipment collectors, Berlin
• Pioneer: Arizona Market, Belgrade
• Subversion: Freedom Camp, Kiev
• Displacement: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Patterns of the Unplanned
Claiming a No Man's Land: Arizona in Bosnia
Azra Akšamija
Start-up Incubator: The Haus des Leherers, Berlin 
Jurij von Ortenberg
Urban Centre Reloaded: Subculture in Manchester's City Centre 
Kevin Ward
What city Planners Can Learn from Temporary Use 
Peter Arlt
The Economy of Temporary Use 
Rudolf Kohoutek, Christa Kamleithner 

The Informal Economy
Saskia Sassen
 Informal Economies and culture in Global Cities
A conversation between Saskia Sassen and Philipp Oswalt
 Which Legal Conditions Are Required for Temporary Use?
A conversation between Rudolf Schäfer and Urban Catalyst
 Cultural Generators 
Arnols Reijndorp
 Art Within the Urban Realm
Claudia Büttner
Margaret Crawford
 "Don't Obsess about Permanence..." 
A conversation between Margaret Crawford and Tobias Armborst
 Open Planning 
Urban Catalyst with Jesko Fezer
 Digital Urbanity
A conversation between Aram Bartholl and Philipp Oswalt

What Is to Be Done?
Strategies for Action

• Einfach Mehrfach, Vienna 
Michael Mellauner
• HausHalten e. V., Leipzing
• nt*areal, Basel
• Spitalfield Market, London
Cordelia Polinna
• Park Fiction, Hamburg
Wanda Wieczorek
• Zwishenpalastnutzung, Berlin
• Campo Boario, Rome
• Salbke District Library, Magdeburg
Stefan Rettich
• Arena Berlin
• Fusion, Müritz 
Nina Brodowski
• NDSM, Amsterdam
• Guerrilla Stores
Friedrich Borries
Towards a User-Based Urbanism 

Urban Catalyst Research Partners
Image Credits 

Philipp Oswalt is an architect and author, initiator and coordinator of the research project Urban Catalyst, Director of the Foundation Bauhaus-Dessau and professor at the University of Kassel. He lives in Berlin and Dessau-Roßlau.
Klaus Overmeyer is a landscape architect, initiator and coordinator of the research project Urban Catalyst, founder of Studio UC/ Klaus Overmeyer, since 2012 Urban Catalyst Studio and professor at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (Germany). He lives in Berlin.
Philipp Misselwitz is an architect, coordinator of the research project Urban Catalyst, professor at the University of Stuttgart and since 2012 member of Urban Catalyst Studio. He lives in Berlin.


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