Taking action in the city!!

I recently stumbled upon the website of the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s latest exhibit at http://cca-actions.org

The exhibit is about urban intervention and how small actions can change the way we interact with the urban environment.

What I find most interesting is that people have started submitted their own actions, like this home-made bus stop: http://cca-actions.org/actions/bus-stop-detroit or this guy who bought a bunch of plywood, made a tree out of it, chopped it down and returned it to home depot (!) : http://cca-actions.org/actions/there-was-man-who-made-tree-just-so-he-could-chop-it-down

Anyways, I really feel like doing an action myself but I’m lacking ideas, anyone care to suggest something??

This isn’t quite the same, but is off on a bit of a tangent. I think its more a social commentary rather than environmental.

I spotted this is the Manchester Evening News yesterday:

Am I missing something here?

intervene meaning 1 occur in between events 2 interfere; prevent or modify events 3 be situated between things

intervention being; 1 intervening 2 interference, esp. by a state

From cca-actions.org;Actions: What You Can Do With the City presents 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world.

A bus stop seat … okay. A problem realized and rectified by an individual; perhaps a transit authority officer sees it and makes the connection that there is inadequate bus top seating… . . hmmmmm, maybe we should do something about this. Positive change.

But, buy sheets of ply wood, spend much time and energy cutting it into little discs and gluing it all back together resemble a “tree”, then “felling” said tree and expending another large amount of energy milling, and gluing it back together into a sheet of plywood, and finally returning it to the retailer!? This is raising public awareness or in some way benefiting the environment?

I don’t get it … … … what is the point? What is the “positive change” being made here? Wasting material and energy?

As an aside; I’m sure you realize that it was impossible to fabricate this “tree” from a single sheet of 2’ x 4’ plywood (which is what the refund receipt is for). As for returning it for a refund in either “damaged” or “resalable” condition … I find it highly unlikely this actually occurred.

A very good example of these urban interventions are in Berlin. There are a lot of plots just waiting to be developed there and berliners are taking over it. Small interest groups making these unused plots theirs. Most of these activities are not grand, just a need for some space to do stuff. The wonderful thing is the city recognixe this and some of these activities starts to become legal establishments/profitable - like the “beaches” by the river Spree.

It is in this book Urban Pioneers. Nice book to look at if you are interested in “unregulated” city developments.

I guess you’re right Lmo. I was thinking it was cool as in “original”, but I have to agree in the end that it is a waste of material and it doesn’t bring any positive change to the city.

Oh well, I guess it was a bad example as there are other actions that are much more interesting than this one on the website!


Don’t let me intimidate your enthusiasm.

Just a thought; If I, or anyone else, suggests an “action” for you, and your react to it. Whose action was it?

Maintain a “questioning attitude”.

aka: Lew MOrris :wink: