Taking Design to the Street: Reflecting on the Use of Temporary Urban Interventions as Tools for Codesigning Public Spaces

Nuala Flood, Leon Cruickshank

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This article contains a reflection on the practice of using temporary urban interventions to help facilitate the co-design of public spaces. It presents case studies of two public space improvement projects, both of which used temporary urban interventions to co-design public spaces in various ways. This research was undertaken through practice and subsequent reflection on that practice whereby the authors were fully-embedded members of the design teams associated with each of the case studies. Following the completion of the projects, we analysed how these specific urban interventions performed as co-design tools and concluded that such urban interventions have much to offer urban design practitioners seeking to develop public spaces through a co-design approach. The case studies detailed in this article also reveal a range of possible modes through which temporary urban interventions can be deployed as co-design tools. We explore the opportunities and challenges presented by each of the modes and we offer practice-based guidance to practitioners wishing to use urban interventions as co-design tools.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018



  • participatory urban design
  • urban interventions
  • urban probes
  • urban prototypes
  • tactical urbanism
  • generative toolkits
  • DIY urbanism

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