visit tracker on tumblr
latham square plaza in downtown oakland, after pilot project abruptly got cut short.
urban reef @robson square, vancouver, bc. 05.07.14.
oakland rooftop with my grandad!
West Lakeview SSA 27 & Lincoln Ave placemaking project. Chicago.

The end of the car city — A convenient truth stockholmcyclo,
Public Spaces Around the World: Eddy Kaijser’s ‘Urban Living Room’



Photos c/o ID Eddy

As a new This City Life feature, I will be profileing a fun, urban public space project each month. This week, I came across Eddy Kaijser, a Rotterdam-based urban designer, who contacted me through the blog. His “Urban Living Room" is a pop-up installation project that brings the cozy warmth of the family living room into local urban landscapes. 

The Urban Living Room consists of your typical living room furnishings: a sofa, chairs, coffee table, dresser and lamp, as well as common objects used in everyday life like a teapot, newspaper rack, plant and even a campfire -  all painted in electric blue. The Living Room’s contemporary furniture was created by leading Dutch designers Dirk van der Kooij, Roderick Vos for Linteloo, Ben Oostrum en Jan Melis. 


According to Urban Living Room creator Eddy Kaijser, installing these comforts of home in an urban context makes big cities feel more intimate and welcoming.

"The world urbanizes rapidly. People live closer together and cities keep on expanding - how do we hold on to the  bond with the city that is rapidly changing? The large scale of the city demands the opposite: a home. Feeling at home is a special feeling. By putting a living room setting in an unexpected place, we create an opportunity for that home feeling. With this project we want to explore that feeling. Important in the development of a city are the contacts between people, especially on a cultural and social level. The Urban Living Room is a prime example of encouraging this."

So far, the installation has travelled from Rotterdam to Istanbul to Barcelona. In each location, small scale activities such as board games, children’s storytelling and live music from local musicians are programmed.


"The Urban Living Room is a social meeting place that we designed to demonstrate who the public space of the city belongs to: the people," said Eddy.

Eddy has been involved in many innovative public space projects that have been showcased around the world, such as his Flying Grass Carpet, an immense Persian rug with a pattern executed in different types of artificial grass. It creates an instant park, bringing a soft, cozy green space to wherever it lands. Since its conception in 2008, it has won the Dutch Design award and been displayed in Istanbul, Madrid, Berlin and many other cities.


According to Eddy, his ideas pop up, based on a combination of intuition and listening to citizens’ feedback on their desires for lively public spaces. 

"My main inspiration for getting involved in public art space projects is a combination of the ‘displeasure’ with how I feel things are designed in public space right now. There tends to be a focus on maintenance free, low-cost spaces, consequently with a very in unsocial, dull end result. I think that the public space belongs to the people and I want to create a pleasant, social place where people can meet, play and enjoy."

Currently, Eddy is designing a total new kind of public space specifically for children.

"They can create their own world in this space. It will be really nice."


» Oakland weighs in on walkability

Walkability is important to the social fabric of Oakland because it “build[s] social capital,” said Jason Patton, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager for the City of Oakland, noting that people of all different classes, races and backgrounds mix it up when they are on foot. “The pedestrian realm is … this kind of great equalizer that keeps us in touch with each other.”

Chris Hwang, President of WOBO’s Board Of Directors and Chair of Oakland’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, highlighted the need for a critical mass of pedestrians: “Walkability depends on me seeing other people doing the same thing.”

comment by melanie:

While we’re at it, can we transform Oakland Chinatown into the pedestrian paradise it could be? Restore the two-way traffic pattern on the streets, add diagonal crossing to every intersection from Laney west, add speed bumps to slow the drivers coming from the tube or the freeway, and, good God, repave. The long-suffering residents deserve much better.

read more: oaklandlocal, 20.05.14.

San Diego Bike Loop Map Released

"The San Diego Bike Loop is a big step forward in our push to create a more bike-friendly city," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "These are the types of low-cost projects that have a huge impact on our neighborhoods."

everything except for the new Bankers Hill buffered bike lanes on 4th and 5th Avenues are “shared roadways”. ughh. I remember riding down[hill] Park Blvd, and how fun yet scary it can be riding in fast car traffic.
hope the city works on implementing real bicycle infrastructure on this “bike loop”. remember, sharrows are a cop-out.
the 2014 Village Building Convergence is going on this week in Portland, presented by City Repair.
see the list of events [23.05-01.06]: VBC the 2014 Village Builder Guide to learn about all the intersection repairs and NE 10th/Beech, on 24.05.14.
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