Playfulness and Politics: The role of artists’ creative spatial practices in urban recovery after disasters (16710)
‘Urban interventions’ such as parklets, guerrilla gardening and more formal artistic interventions in public space have become increasingly prominent in cities throughout the globe in the last decade, and have been associated with the ‘spatial turn’ in the social sciences. The study of urban interventions is a small but growing area in urban geography, as is the ‘popular culture of disasters’, in the disaster literature. However, to date, there is little research which combines the two, by considering the role of creative spatial practices in disaster recovery.
This paper reports on research investigating interactions between the arts, urban development and post-disaster recovery by examining urban interventions by artists and other creative practitioners in Christchurch. The case study for this research will be the urban interventions carried out in vacant sites as a response to the Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010 - 2012. I consider the role of creativity in fostering greater wellbeing and participation in society during disaster recovery. Lefebvre’s concept of the ‘production of space’ including the ‘right to the city’ is informing a consideration of the significance of play in urban space, people’s participation in place-making and new ways of thinking about what is possible in urban spaces.