Revitalizing Urban Spaces: 10 Interventions for Transforming Unused Areas

Revitalizing Urban Spaces: 10 Interventions for Transforming Unused Areas

Cities constantly undergo infinite changes, leaving many spaces within the urban fabric forgotten and unused. Historic buildings are refurbished, and adaptive reuse explores new possibilities, but what happens with public spaces? Small interventions using simple resources and innovative solutions are the perfect way to bring these neglected alleys, plazas, and highways back to life and reincorporate them into the city.

Depending on the context and scale of the project, granting quality spaces to otherwise overlooked places can be challenging. This is why innovative and thoughtful initiatives are highly valued. However, some interventions demonstrate that with simple yet effective adaptations, neglected spaces in cities or neighborhoods can not only be resignified but also re-populated, giving them new life. These gestures bring new opportunities for personal and collective appropriation and new uses of public spaces, encouraging user interactions and exchange.

The materials and forms used may vary depending on budgets, sites, and uses. It may take something as simple as colorful paint or metallic and wooden structures to build playgrounds that bring life back to unused streets. Mirrors, colors, and artwork can add value to residual city spaces, and benches can provide places to take a break and meet with community neighbors. Below, we have selected 10 examples of simple urban installations that successfully achieve this.


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Urban Renewal from Below: 10 Public Spaces that Reclaim Neglected City Infrastructure


Agora Maximus, Tactical Urbanism Project / LAAB Collective + Signature Design Communication

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New Ark Installation / Tideland Studio

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Oishii Park / td-Atelier

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Rodda Lane Intervention / Sibling Architecture

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Mirrors Plaza / Bla! Estudio Creativo + Abarca Palma Arquitectos

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Escadinhas Footpaths / Paulo Moreira Architectures

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Magdy El Khouly Street Rehab / Ahmed Hossam Saafan

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OMOKEN Park / Yabashi architects & associates

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City Thread / SPORTS

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Red Planet / 100architects

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on  October 31, 2019, and updated on June 28th, 2024.

 


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Urban Renewal from Below: 10 Public Spaces that Reclaim Neglected City Infrastructure


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