Three Inspiring Urban Parasites

As cities are incredibly complex, so must be any sort of urban sustainability, which can come in many more forms than a ‘Green City’. With so much going on in an urban environment, there’s bound to be some excess energy flows. So why waste that energy, if you can turn it into something that’s better, fun, and productive? That’s what we call Parasite Urbanism — strategies and urban interventions that creatively make use of spaces or energies that otherwise would be neglected or would go to waste, contributing to a wider concept of urban sustainability. Let’s take a look at three of the best examples of urban parasites that we’ve highlighted on the Pop Up City. They all make use of a variety of otherwise neglected spaces or energy, launching them into places that are more useful, more productive and more fun!

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5000 Payphones Relive New York City’s Gritty 90s

Recalling 1993 is a project that pays homage to NYC’s relatively recent past. It is an immersive journey into New York in 1993 — its people, streetscapes, and stories. The project looks past the contemporary glitz and intense capital investment of today to a much different city whose tough reputation kept most people away. As you will discover with the project, despite its bad reputation, New York City was home to a tight and vibrant community with its own landmarks, villains, mascots and heroes.

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Smile-Bot Spreads Happiness In Public Space

“Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking”, wrote John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons in 1954 as lyrics for Charlie Chaplin’s song ‘Smile’. Even through all our sorrows and hardships, smiling is something we ought to do continuously, they claimed, and how right they were. Nowadays the world is not all fun and games and of course a smile can be further away than one might wish to admit, so for the moments where a smile is not at hand, there is Smile-Bot, who wants to fill your world with joy and laughter.

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Metrominuto: The Subway-Inspired Map For Pedestrians

Walkability is a subject many cities are increasingly getting involved with. Our legs are often overlooked when thinking about transport in the city, with municipalities passionately constructing bicycle lanes and roads as far as the eye can see whilst competely forgetting about the pedestrian’s needs. Instead of focusing on these forms of transport, Pontevedra in northwest Spain has been trying for the last 15 years to make their city more walker-friendly. To further improve walkability, they have created a subway-inspired map for pedestrians.

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