Happy, Healthy 'Temporary' Cities

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This paper analyses the possible contribution of temporary urban uses of space to the broader urban health agenda. Through a progressively critical lens, it highlights the potential of temporary use to address the multifarious implications of the presence of vacant and derelict land on health and living environment (including direct connections to income, education, housing and crime). Analysing 15 projects in two cities, the paper discusses the significance of healthy temporary development compared to ordinary, standarised variations of the phenomenon. In doing so, two types of temporary use strategies are explored: purposeful promotion via policy vs. solutions with organic roots. Ultimately, I conclude by highlighting that despite the strategy, the reality of realising happy, healthy 'temporary' projects is much reduced owing to a variety of sophisticated barriers that were largely the same in both cities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventNational Urban Design Conference UK - The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Sep 201724 Nov 2018


ConferenceNational Urban Design Conference UK
LocationThe University of Manchester
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Martin M. (2017): Happy, Healthy 'Temporary' Cities, National Urban Design Conference UK, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


  • temporary use
  • urban health
  • happy cities
  • vacant land

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