Urban Experiments and Concrete Utopias: Platform4 a ‘Bottom Up’ Approach to the Experience City

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    The paper explores how concrete urban experiments can challenge the pecuniary version of the experience city and stimulate a locally rooted and democratic version of an experience based city using heterotopias and concrete utopias as the link between top down planning and bottom up experiments in an emerging  experience city.

     The first part of the article describes the growing and uncritical interest in the concepts of the ‘creative economy’, ‘creative class’ (Florida 2002) and their relationship with cultural production and economic growth (Bille & Schulze 2006), many of which, however, are driven mainly by political discourses producing more strategies and reports or commodified ´experience projects´ that are not rooted in real democratic experiments. Instead, the experience based development should emphasize a more object-oriented and a critical approach where real urban experiments link public administrations with public participation in order to shape a cultural agenda.

    The second part of the paper looks at two cases: NDSM in Amsterdam and Platform4 in Aalborg suggesting that it is concrete urban experiments like these that can create a link between visions and local reality in the Experience city. It is done using Michael Foucault’s notion of Heterotopias as test beds of change and new modes of ordering a society in transitions.  The paper explores how participatory experiments can create interspaces focusing on new meaningful interactions in the city – recapturing Debord’s Spectacle of the city and society (Debord 1995) and not the commercialized trail that Swyngedouw speaks of. These experiments have the potential of becoming political objects of attention and together form the starting point for a bottom-up approach to urban cultural development if they can enable a large variety of actors and audiences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationArchitecture and stages in the experience city
    EditorsHans Kiib
    PublisherInstitut for Arkitektur og Medieteknologi
    Publication date2009
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventArchitecture and Stages in the Experience City - Aalborg, Denmark
    Duration: 3 Sep 20094 Sep 2009


    ConferenceArchitecture and Stages in the Experience City
    SeriesDepartment of Architecture and Designs skriftserie


    • Cultural planning
    • Exprience City
    • creative entrepreneurs
    • Experiment
    • Process
    • Plan


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