| Hosted by The Centre for City Ecology with Urbanspace Gallery | Curated by Elke Krasny | Urbanspace Gallery | 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Canada | Richmond and Spadina www.urbanspacegallery.ca Exhibition | 01.09.2014 – 03.07.2014 Keynote  | Fri 02.28.2014 | URBANSPACE GALLERY Symposium | Sat 03.01.2014 | JOHN H DANIELS FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE AND DESIGN


“The right to the city is like a shout and a demand”, wrote Henri Lefebvre in the 1960s. The exhibition “Hands-On Urbanism. How to Make A Difference” is devoted to a history of ideas of appropriating land in urban space and reveals potential for initiatives by citizens willing to take action in crisis situations. The presentation is based upon a critical history of ideas about the politics of space. Urban development from below leads to an informal and self-organized production of city, which, however never operates outside the system. Self-organization has always been both a reaction to and an incentive for urban planning. On the occasion of the exhibition, the symposium “Hands-On Urbanism.

How to Make a Difference” brings together activists, architects, artists and landscape planners. In times of crises, austerity measures, and increasing spatial and social injustice, new alignments have to be forged. This different history of urban transformation and the city raises pressing questions about the responsibility of architects and planners and about how we use resources.

The symposium is conceived of as both an exchange of ideas and case studies and a collaborative working towards the production knowledge. A keynote lecture by Elke Krasny on Friday, 02.28.2014, will give a historiographic overview on Hands-On Urbanism since the mid-19th century. Practitioners, architects, curators and community organizers, will share their work from a practical standpoint and talk about challenges they are currently facing which require them to think outside the box and to enter into new, and at times unexpected, alignments and collaborations.

A symposium will take place on Saturday, 03.01.2014. Participants include Adrian Blackwell [Waterloo], Anan Lololi [Afri-can FoodBasket, Toronto], Lucia Babina [Milan & Ibiza] and the community of Brant, Brigitte Shim [Toronto], Arturo Ortiz Struck [Mexico City], Elke Krasny [Vienna], Mark Poddubiuk [Montreal], and Aziza Chaouni [Toronto]. The first discussion will be dedicated to the issues of “The Right to Green”, the second discussion will focus on “Hands-On Strategies”. Curator: Elke Krasny Exhibition graphic design: Alexander Schuh

7. Februar 2014 | Pauluskirche am Campus Haspel, Wuppertal



10.00 – 10.30 | Silke Helfrich, Jena
10.30 – 11.00 | Elke Krasny, Wien
11.00 – 11.45 | Diskussion
Moderation: Guido Spars

12.15 – 12.45 | Tobias Goevert, London
12.45 – 13.15 | Philipp Misselwitz, Berlin
13.15 – 14.00 | Diskussion
Moderation: Christoph Grafe


15.00 – 15.30 | Judith Lösing, London
15.30 – 16.00 | Georg Franck, Wien
16.00 – 16.30 | Christian Schöningh, Berlin
16.30 – 17.15 | Diskussion
Moderation: Ulrich Königs


Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig
08.06.2013 – 08.09.2013, GfZK-2
Opening 07.06.2013, 7 pm

curated by Elke Krasny

an exhibition of the Architekturzentrum Wien


The research-based exhibition is dedicated to the history of the idea of appropriating land in urban space.
Since the shockwave of modernisation that accompanied industrialisation towns and cities worldwide have had to face some very significant challenges. City-dwellers have always found a number of solutions in crisis situations, they are involved in bottom-up urban development. Self-build and selforganisation, settlements and fruit and vegetable gardening lead to other forms of collective cohesion, neighbourliness and fair distribution. Another world can be planted, as today’s community gardeners are clearly showing.


Following many years of international research, the curator Elke Krasny presents 19 historical and contemporary case studies of bottom-up urban development in Chicago, Leipzig, Vienna, Bremen, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Porto Alegre, Havana or Quito. They provide an overview of informal, self-organised collective movements and of the spaces that are created by them. The exhibition shows how decisively small projects have often led, and are still leading, to major changes.


‘Hands-on Urbanism’ introduces an alternative urban history, one that poses urgent questions about the responsibility of design for architects and planners, and the resource-logic of towns and cities. What do architects do in this process, and what can be learned from the bottom-up in this urban history? Its role ranges from initiative via activism to conducting research. How are urban planning authorities reacting to these developments? The spectrum ranges from the founding of a settlement regulatory agency, via infrastructural measures and tolerance, to measures of support from the authorities, but also the introduction of new laws and legal sanctioning in official urban plans. 


Hands-on Urbanism 1850 – 2012. The Right to Green was initiated and curated by Elke Krasny forArchitekturzentrum Wien.

Exhibition graphic: Alexander Schuh
Scenography: Alexandra Maringer













 \\ Urban Gardening
\\ Kongress \ 1.–2. Juni 2013, 9.00 
\\ Hands-on Urbansim 1850-2012 – Vom Recht auf Grün
\\ Ausstellung
//botanika – Das Grüne Science Center im Rhododendron-Park, Deliusweg 40, 28359 Bremen

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The exhibition Hands on Urbanism presents a series of contemporay and historical examples of ways in which cities worldwide have been dealing with landscapes in urban space.

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2013, Friday May 10,  6:00pm / presented by PublicsAffair + The Centre for the Spatial Realm

98Weeks Project Space: Chalhoub Bldg, Naher Str, off of Armenia Street Mar Mikhael / Ground floor. Near Tawlet Restaurant, facing Spoiler Center dead end street at the corner of Anthurium Flower shop Continue reading…

Hands-On Urbanism 1850-2012 by Elke Krasny, curator, and Alexander Schuh, graphic designer, is part of the exhibition Common Ground curated by David Chipperfield Padiglione Centrale, 13. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, La Biennale di Venezia 2012, 29. 8.–25. 11. 2012


2012, Saturday 3 November // As part of the ‘Meetings on Architecture’ at the 2012 Venice Biennale for Architecture, Theatrum Mundi/Global Street was invited to curate a programme of events that would bring our new urban forum to bear on the discussions, debates, ideas and exhibits from ​Common Ground.




Szenario lebenswerte Stadt | Scenario liveable City
Hands-On Urbanism 1850-2012

DQE-Hlle, Heliostraße 35–37, Ehrenfeld
Open: 21.09, 18–22, Eröffnung | 22.28.09. 13–21 Uhr

So 23.09., 18 Uhr, Vortrag Hands-On Urbanism von Elke Kransy (Kuratorin)
anschl. Gespräch mit Pablo Molestina (Architekt, Professor an der FH Düsseldorf) 

HANDS-ON URBANISM 1850-2012. THE RIGHT TO GREEN. Interview with Elke Krasny (curator) and Alexandra Maringer (scenographer). Exhibition graphic design: Alexander Ach Schuh. Video by CastYourArt.com, Eva Stern, Natalia Daukszewicz. Vienna 2012.