Urban planning has traditionally operated on a very long time line. There is something to be said for this approach, which enabled grand visions to be enacted over the generations of a city's life. However, when poor planning or limited foresight led to problems, the feedback mechanisms and flexibility required to address these situations were not in place. As Peter Bishop and Lesley Williams, author of the book The Temporary City, write, "An Alternative Approach is beginning to emerge." Trends like the rise in usage of SeeClickFix and the popularity of"Temporary Cities" indicate that this model is being reconsidered, in favor of a more dynamic, fluid approach.
Temporary Cities are intended to be impermanent solutions for permanent features of urban life. Some interesting examples of this trend include the m-hotel in London, and the weekend long mall that appeared in Cambridge, MA.
Followers of the blog will remember that our CEO Ben Berkowitz recently spoke on a panel in Cambridge, MA about this trend, and an Atlantic Monthly article also highlighted "Temporary Cities." Cities have begun to embrace this movement as well, like SeeClickFix partner Washington, DC, which has established the Temporary Urbanism Initiative.
This is clearly an exciting trend for those like us who care about the vibrancy and life of cities. Moreover, as a tool that enables citizens to express their vision for their cities, SeeClickFix is well positioned to play an important part in the "Temporary Cities" movement. We look forward to contributing to this trend as it continues to impact the direction of urban planning and feel of our cities.