Thursday, September 26, 2013
Celeste Pagano (Florida Coastal) has posted DIY Urbanism: Property and Process in Grassroots City Building (Marquette Law Review) on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
recent years, a range of grassroots interventions have claimed and
shaped the use of urban space. Community gardens, unsanctioned public
art, temporary crosswalks, miniature lending libraries — these projects
and more have been termed “guerilla urbanism,” “tactical urbanism,” or
“insurgent uses of public space.” I choose the term “DIY” — short for
Do-It-Yourself — urbanism to describe these phenomena in order to
emphasize their bottom-up and often ad hoc nature. Accomplishing a
variety of aims and existing on a curiously fluid spectrum of legality,
DIY urbanist interventions share in common an orientation toward
community engagement in changing the use of common urban space.
This article is the first to examine the trend from a legal perspective. Because many DIY urbanist interventions are initially illegal, they raise thorny issues of law and legitimacy. This article first situates DIY Urbanism in the context of other contemporary trends in urban development, then tackles the questions of legitimacy, legality, and ultimately democracy that these projects raise. DIY urbanist actions, even when illegal, strengthen civic values, enhance community, and serve to remedy deficits in existing democratic processes. Ultimately, their acceptance into the mainstream canon of urban development tools reflects the inherent flexibility in legal regimes, particularly in property law, which develop to protect enduring values of community in shifting circumstances.