Spontaneous City Working Group
The Spontaneous City Working Group evaluates the central question of how we can create – or perhaps more accurately, allow for – small scale, user-defined development in a planning system that traditionally favours certainty and control, frequently in the form of fixed master plans, ready made city extensions, gated communities and other land use regulations.
The Spontaneous City is a plea for an Urban Design practice, parallel and complementary to the traditional area development strategies, and with a specific investment logic.
It is a concept open to interpretation, but firm in the aim: re-shaping the contemporary city according to a distinctive set of priorities. The modernistic emphasis on urban coherence and safety should be replaced, to accommodate the contemporary culture that demands change in time, collective and individual concern, and a broad understanding of sustainability.The Spontaneous City is dealt by its inhabitants, in a never-ending process of transformation and adaptation. Individuals and groups, including both residents and business people, re-use or re-organize spaces in apartments block, workplaces, parks and street. The potential of individuals has too long been ignored.Co-design, Co-production, Co-property and Co-responsibility are no longer just fashionable terms, but accepted design forms in terms of sustainable urban development, which have to be implemented and applied more and more in a larger scope in collaboration with the big companies and local authority.
We are aware of the different contexts worldwide and how they affect the local opportunities and challenges. Several trends and past traditions similar in their nature, but different in expression, occur all over the world generating different urbanities. We do believe that The Spontaneous City approach can fit and apply to an incredible amount of different places. That is because The Spontaneous City deals directly with local specificity: the people, the culture, the economy and politics, the features of the place.
This topic was chosen in light of IFHP’s institutional orientations, and at the moment the Working Group is primarily operating around four critical issues regarding the Spontaneous City:
- Land Ownership and operational scale: ZOOM IN
- Dynamic Regulations: OPEN DEVELOPMENT
- Investment Logic: CREATE COLLECTIVE VALUE
- Partnership and Governance, Civic Economy: USER ORIENTED
IFHP is fortunate to have the assistance of Gert Urhahn (email@example.com) as our chair for this working group, along with Bernardina Borra (firstname.lastname@example.org). To find out more about them and their work on the spontaneous city, have a look at their website.
We are currently working on a number of activities around this topic including practical applications and best practice examples.
Inquiries can be made to email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of Urhahn Urban Design