Guided Walking to Urban Transformations

Kohler, Martin. 2008. „Guided Walking to Urban Transformations“. Barcelona.

Walking „safaris“ into industrial wastelands, transformed into temporary art installation sites draws attention to the potential for rebirth and revitalization of places in limbo. Urban development is characterized by a kind of cycle and phases of prominent and favoured places of living and working on the one hand and less liked urban spaces on the other hand. Those areas are usually the problematic cases of urban planning and in many cases these areas are former industrial or harbour areas. The derelict landscapes show fragmented remains of formerly important symbols and uses. These shattered codes of past meaning can be used to create new meaning, new symbols and new patterns of activity. But the waiting land is not easy to access. The landscapes are confusing and empty, the possible future seems far away and is intangible. A translation for the history, the quality and the potential of the site is needed focusing on the real place in question. A possible way of translating the history and the future by walking is shown with site-specific art installations and guided walking tours to the abandoned land for future use.