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Occupied By Design: Evaluating Performative Tactics For More Sustainable Shared City Space In Private-led Regeneration Projects

Golden, Saul (2014) Occupied By Design: Evaluating Performative Tactics For More Sustainable Shared City Space In Private-led Regeneration Projects. WIT Transactions on Ecology and The Environment, 191 . pp. 441-452. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.witpress.com/elibrary/wit-transactions-on-ecology-and-the-environment/191/29528

DOI: 10.2495/SC140371


This paper investigates alternative approaches to statutory consultations in privateled regeneration projects. It explores decision-making processes for more locally relevant, place-based investments in shared urban space. It presents practice-led research about performative tactics, open-ended investigative action, to influence traditional processes of development and statutory consultation toward greater social sustainability. It focuses on the example of a temporary legal street-occupation, an activention, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The occupation responded to proposals to create a new public square as an “iconic meeting place” to spur regeneration in an existing marginalized neighbourhood. The paper argues that the formal proposals were based on top-down strategies that set-out limiting detailed designs based on the input of “key stakeholders” and consultants. Using anonymous surveys from event participants and public-private stakeholders, the paper compares and contrasts perspectives about more experimental visioning and consultation tactics, drawn from global thinkers and practitioners. It aims to foster deeper public-private-government conversations about existing public space qualities and place-driven potential. Through a reflective discussion, the author’s actions as an architect are also considered. An evidence-based argument, contextualized within UK and wider global discourse on sustainable communities, sets out how open-ended and performative strategies are perceived as a positive foil to more closed development decision-making, and can contribute to more proactive engagement with the public. Findings also support a greater focus on performative skills as means for architects to (re)frame their creative knowledge as tools for more transformative practices in complex city contexts.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:lighter-quicker-cheaper activention, place, public space, Belfast sustainability, regeneration, participation, architecture, performative tactics
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > The Belfast School of Architecture
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute > Art and Context
Art and Design Research Institute
ID Code:30296
Deposited By: Mr Saul Golden
Deposited On:19 Jun 2015 13:17
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:16

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