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Temporary uses of vacant and abandoned urban spaces in Latin America: An exploration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilt Environment and Architecture as a Resource
Subtitle of host publicationProceeding Series
PublisherNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-983797-4-7
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventNAF/NAAR Symposium -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameThe NAAR Proceedings Series
PublisherNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
ISSN (Electronic)2535-4523


ConferenceNAF/NAAR Symposium
Period1/01/00 → …


Temporary use has become an increasingly focal subject in the fields of planning and urban policy. However, research has focused mostly on Europe and the United States, with little attention being given to temporary use in Latin America.

To add relevant cases and broaden the theoretical debate, this article presents an exploration of temporary use in different Latin American cities, from Mexico to Argentina. It charts temporary community centres and ephemeral art galleries that arise in historical abandoned buildings; new urban gardens that flourish over the ruins of monumental modernist housing projects from the 1960s; parklets and pocket parks that appear amongst overlooked deteriorated spaces; and abandoned plots that are transformed into temporary cinemas and playgrounds for children and their families. Furthermore, the article illustrates how these existing environments—often private, inert, and abandoned—are temporarily appropriated as lively spaces open to the public and transformative for cultural and urban practices in Latin American contexts. Finally, the article contextualizes the various examples in theoretical debates on everyday urbanism and do-it-yourself urbanism, showing the unique dimensions and learning points from the Latin American scene.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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