There are millions upon millions of discarded tires clogging up landfills all over the world. One could buy used tires as a way of reusing them, but it can be a risky proposition. Another option is to build with them (earthships come to mind), or repurposing them as urban art, as a Barcelona-based artistic collective has done with these clever street interventions.
Made up of artists OOSS, Iago Buceta, and Mateu Targa, the team proposed Pneumàtic, a series of installations using salvaged tires, as part of Ús Barcelona, a street art festival that is aiming to renew dilapidated parts of the city.
Located in the neglected "Tomato District" of Barcelona, these cut-up tires are inserted onto walls, stairways and ramps, creating new spaces and a sense of "place" that did not exist before. Skillfully integrated into a concrete urban landscape, these strategically placed interventions create a sense of wonder, and renewed interest in parts of the city that might have otherwise been forgotten, in addition to diverting problematic materials from the landfill.
Unexpected and refreshing, urban art is one way that cities are re-activating life on its boulevards and overlooked places, besides things like urban agriculture, sharing economies and other green initiatives. For more images, check out Pneumàtic on Behance, and Ús Barcelona.