Pop-up gardens, urban farms, guerrilla bike lanes, examples of crowdsourced city planning, and other urban interventions will be the focus of the official U.S. Pavilion at the upcoming 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale, the world's most prestigious architecture event.
"In recent years, there has been a nascent movement of designers acting on their own initiative to solve problematic urban situations, creating new opportunities and amenities for the public," the organizers of the pavilion write on their website.
Fresh Tactics For More Sustainable, Inclusive Cities
"These efforts ... run the gamut from symbolic to practical, physical to virtual, whimsical to serious. But they share an optimistic willingness to venture outside conventional practice and to deploy fresh tactics to make cities more sustainable, accessible, and inclusive."
The U.S. Pavilion, organized under the theme of "Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good," will incorporate 124 urban projects, including the "PHS Pops Up Garden" created last year in downtown Philadelphia by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
From Vacant Lot To Urban Oasis
The Philadelphia garden "transformed a longtime vacant lot into a temporary urban oasis with dozens of beds filled with organically grown vegetables and ornamental plants," according to a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society press release. It "showcased the PHS City Harvest program, which creates green jobs and brings together a network of community gardens that raise fresh produce for more than 1,000 families in need each week during the growing season."
The bustling pop-up garden saw people taking morning tai chi and yoga classes, participating in gardener-led walks and horticultural workshops, attending movie nights and block parties, tending beehives, and gathering produce to use in some of the city's best restaurants. PHS plans to design and install a new Pops Up project this summer at a different Philadelphia location.
The Venice Architecture Biennale, which alternates with the better-known Venice Art Biennale, will be held Aug. 29 through Nov. 25.