Reasserting Right to the City Through Temporary Installation as an Urban Design Tool

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (BAMC2021)
Title: Reasserting Right to the City Through Temporary Installation as an Urban Design Tool
Stream: Architecture and Urban Studies/Design
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Pritam Dey, Anant National University, India
Pallavi Jain, Anant National University, India


The prolific and fast urbanization in India has brought about polarity in economic classes and challenges the concept of the holistic and inclusive city. In this neo-liberal era, huge capital funded cities often shaped by private builders and developers, the question arises whether the marginalized groups in the city can really assert their socio-civic rights? The sidewalks, open spaces barely exist in an informal context of Indian cities which are often seen as contested territories by various stakeholders. Fortification of social spaces by boundary walls, policing, ticketing somehow fragmented the democratic spaces of the city blurring out the inclusiveness and the right to own the city. In his seminal work, "The right to the city", Lefebvre mentioned the car oriented transformation of the cities, engulfing the pedestrian spaces. The mass exodus of the proletariat groups migrating into the city is further creating a spatial crisis leveraging contestation towards the democratic spaces in the city.
In this situation the research paper will demonstrate two social experiments with insertion of temporal installations within the city premises of Ahmedabad, involving marginalized, lesser privileged craftsmen and community. The experiment was an act to give the right to the socially less catered groups to participate in the “making” of the city, thereby developing a sense of associativeness by providing recreational social infrastructure. The result of the installations was surprising which was participated by all age groups across diverse economic stratas, negating the repulsive societal perceptions within communities and economic polarities creating an egalitarian reality.

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