For several decades, there has been this idea in Vancouver for an institution that would document and celebrate the changing city. The ‘Urbanarium’ concept was promoted by City Planner Ray Spaxman and others in the design and development community, and some may remember the exhibition in the old motor-vehicle testing station on Georgia.
But alas, nothing permanent.
In Salt Lake City, currently going through significant redevelopment, another former planning director, Stephen Goldsmith, created a museum to help the community take a new look at what change means for the city. Well, sort of a museum.
The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change is a public participation project that re-casts downtown Salt Lake City’s construction sites and building demolitions as museum exhibits.
To achieve this, Goldsmith has partnered with Gilberto Schaefer, a graphic designer, and John Schaefer, a photographer…. A lot of what these three artists hope to accomplish is to simply reframe the way the community looks at and thinks about the change going on around it.
Goldsmith and the Schaefers are looking to utilize the mile-and-a-half of construction walls lining the streets as a way to create connections between pedestrians and their changing city. They have been working with property owners to gain permission to build display windows along these construction walls, transforming the plain barriers into a kind of storefront façade…. (More here at Planetizen.)
And, of course, there’s a web site for the Museum, with a link to Downtown Rising.
This site does the job formally of what Pacific Metropolis tries to do locally: keep up with a fast-changing city, project by project.
Maybe it’s time to resurrect Urbanarium, from construction site to website.