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Temporary Flows & Ephemeral Cities

  • Author(s): Vera, Felipe
  • Mehrotra, Rahul
  • et al.
Abstract

In recent years, the physical structure of cities has evolved, morphing, mutating and becoming more malleable, fluid, and more open to change than the technology and social institutions that generate them. Today, urban settlements globally face increasing flows of human movement, acceleration in the amount and periodicity of natural disasters, and iterative economic crises that modify streams of capital and their allocation to physical components of cities. As a consequence, urban settings are required to be more flexible in order to better organize and resist outside and inside pressures. In this context, there is a lot we can learn from “ephemeral cities,” the outcomes of massive contemporary pilgrimages, when rethinking the forms future cities should take and the strategies to intervene in them. With this idea in mind, three years ago, we began to gather evidence on cities that are, by nature, ephemeral. “The Research Project on The Ephemeral City” at the Harvard Graduate School of Design is an effort to systematically analyze cities and settlements built with an explicit expiry date...

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