Temporary urbanism as an urban commons’ prefiguration tool. The case of « Les Grands Voisins » (Paris).

Authors: Fanny COTTET*, Géographie-Cités
Topics: Land Use, Planning Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: Urban commons, temporary urbanism, prefiguration
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 39
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Temporary urbanism has become internationally recognized as an expanding field, both in terms of research and practice. In many ways it can now be linked to the commoning movement as theorised by Ostrom (1990).
This paper emphasizes the role temporary occupation can play as a prefigurative tool in complex urban development projects. The temporary occupation of Les Grands Voisins (Paris, 2015-2020) highlights the importance of the commons in complex urban planning processes. Not only did it help prefigure the final project, it also emphasized notions of community and common rules, two pillars identified by Ostrom for the governance of urban commons. Mostly, this process questioned property and affordable market values in central Paris as a key of success for commercial, associative or handcraft activities.
Resulting from two years of participant observation, several interviews and sustained work on alternative land property schemes, this research emphasizes how temporary occupation was used to foreshadow the future Eco district by the developer. It enabled us to identify the need of a unique manager for the management, marketing and animation of ground floors and public spaces. Finally, it showed that there is much at stake in adopting out-of market values to make cities and urban spaces affordable, and by experimenting with a CLT for both housing and affordable workshop spaces.
In our opinion, this project lays the foundations for a commoning movement in urban planning: it questions land property and out-of market values for social and solidarity activities in Paris city with real estate pressure.

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