Temporary and Tactical Urbanism

ARC Discovery Project (2018-2021)
Quentin Stevens (RMIT), Kim Dovey

This project will to map and critically analyse the diverse constellations of actors, interests and contexts that are currently re-shaping urban design and planning practice, using innovative conceptual and methodological tools from assemblage thinking. Temporary/tactical urbanism is one of the most significant global movements in urban design and planning in recent years. It encompasses a myriad of small, experimental design projects led by diverse actors that transform underutilized urban spaces. Such projects range from temporary parks and container villages to less formal ‘DIY’ and ‘guerrilla’ urbanism. Advocates argue that T/T urbanism heralds a more agile future for urban design and planning; and such a movement resonates with the call from policy-makers, planners and designers to make cities smarter, more innovative and resilient. While short-term benefits are often apparent in their intensive usage and transformative imagery, the broader and longer-term problems and impacts are harder to discern and articulate. This project entails a critical analysis of the varied assemblages of actors and interests within different temporary/tactical approaches, and of how they engage with wider public interests.


Stevens, Q. & Dovey, K. (in press) 'Pop-Ups and Public Interests: Agile public space in the neoliberal city', in: Arefi, M. & Kickert, C. (eds) Bottom-Up Urbanism, New York: Palgrave.

Dovey, K. & Wollan, S. & Woodcock, I., (2018)  'Graffiti as Character', in: Dovey, et al. (eds) Mapping Urbanities, New York: Routledge, pp. 189-207.

Dovey, K. (2016) Urban Design Thinking, London: Bloomsbury. (Ch 27: Temporary/Tactical)

Dovey, K. (2014) ‘The Temporary City’ (book review) by P. Bishop and L. Williams, Journal of Urban Design, 19 (2), p261-263.

Stevens, Q. & Ambler, M. (2010) ‘Europe's City Beaches as Post-Fordist Placemaking’ Journal of Urban Design, 15 (4).