(*) The ‘museum city’ demands perpetual maintenance, while the ‘city of the future’ resides where construction sites stand today but not tomorrow. These scenarios shape a diverse range of similar factors that influence the environment and culture.
Temporary yet ever-present elements, like cranes on the horizon, vibrant attire, unexpected sounds and languages, and tons of waste, serve as prime examples. The encounter between the city and its construction sites fluctuates from place to place, manifesting and vanishing worldwide, like an almost unpredictable living organism, though not entirely so. The thickness of each border varies in space and time, yet its minimal representation often appears as a thin line on blueprints, or as fences at construction sites. On both sides of these divisions, within defined time periods, spaces of diverse sizes, shapes, and conditions emerge—unused by the construction site or the city—some of which may even be accessible and safe. The undefined nature of these encounters invites reflection on the future ahead, as well as on processes, the right to the city, our involvement in community development, and the exploration of diverse dichotomies such as: present/future, temporary/permanency, private/public, imagination/concretion, accessible/restricted, rough/delicate, local/foreign, reality/fiction, to name a few.
Nothing is categorically demanded from these encounters beyond a safe relationship. The city considers them negatively and attempts to overlook their existence, anticipating the completion of the construction process. Indeed, not unexpected are the customary pledges that validate the waiting period, presented as showrooms and/or rendering images with models of the promising ‘bright’ future—a symbolic carrot to pursue, usually marked by a strikingly diverse and vibrant density, fostering various forms of leisure, especially on sunny summer days.
When guilt is present, borders are employed for utilitarian pseudo-artistic initiatives, which ultimately should serve decorative purposes, mitigating ‘any inconvenience’ caused during the transformation process. Thus, whatever occurs outside this constraining framework of ‘entrepreneurs’ and governmental spheres may become a true present for the city,
regardless of its duration and characteristics.▪