2020 ratified the end of linear planning. The idea of programming as a reassuring navigation exercise between signposts – a certain revenue threshold, clients, project calendars, but also personal calendars, holidays, celebrations, wrecked. Think of 2020 as an accelerate training on non-deterministic and interdisciplinary thinking, with supporting evidence from a global scale pilot. How to navigate 2021?
T-Factor, a recently launched project I am a partner of, had to deal from day 0 with this impossibility to plan as usual, moreover in a context of urban regeneration planning (double discomfort cheese on top, please). The mission across several European cities is to leverage the time in-between the adoption of a regeneration masterplan and its actual realisation (“life”, as argued by the project officer during our first public event). This time is used to create meanwhile spaces, means of collective place prototyping and learning in light of stable uses and functions. My role there is to curate the exploration of participatory smart city notions.
Collective place-making stands as a solid answer to a multidimensional planning demand. It creates equality and a sense of belonging on a small scale while aligning them on a broader collective interest. It is something urbanism can do effectively only together with other disciplines, and that it should generously lend to different contexts too. What does place-making look like in the digital classroom? And in the remote office? And in the presence of a hospital room? How to inhabit all the meanwhiles generated by technology?