The Potential of Lost Space: A New Model for Identifying, Classifying and Transforming Urban Void Space

Hamelin, Calen
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University of Guelph

Urban void space, or lost space, has been discussed within landscape architecture, planning and urban design for centuries, but often goes unnoticed and underutilized. With city populations growing, there is increased pressure to provide outdoor spaces for inhabitants. This study aims to identify and categorize the Downtown Guelph Urban Growth Centre’s void spaces, while highlighting their potential for possibly becoming new public space. Furthermore, various intervention strategies, pop-up, pilot or permanent (PPP), are demonstrated as a transformation framework for these challenging spaces. A gap analysis was used to identify the spaces and to highlight their potential, while the categories were formed using a morphological analysis. Finally, three case studies demonstrated the intervention strategies of the PPP Framework. The analyses showed that most void spaces have potential and that there are benefits to using a PPP Framework for transforming them into public spaces within our cities, both temporarily and permanently.

Gap Analysis, Leftover Space, Morphological Analysis, Pilot, Pop-Up, Tactical Urbanism