What role and relevance can art and architecture hold in a faded concrete neighbourhood? How can we enter into dialogue with the phantoms of stigmatized housing estates? What qualities and pitfalls do temporary projects entail? How can local inhabitants, institutions, architects and artists be equipped to improve collaboration and create shared cities?
SOUP - Sun Over UrbanPlanen is an experiment, which took place in the spring of 2008 in and around a run-down, inoperational shopping centre in the social housing development UrbanPlanen - the Urban Plan - in the Copenhagen district of Sundby on the island of Amager. Artists, architects, curators and local inhabitants initiated a fleeting transformation of the run-down Solvang Center into a hybrid house intertwining culture, social activities and commerce. A utopian rediscovery of modernist architecture and its inherent dreams, the project fused the stories of Urbanplanen with its current energy and diversity. This created an image of a revitalised centre with activities based on existing resources.
This book documents SOUP as a process. It discusses the challenges and experiences, potentials and dangers that confront cultural urban planning, art in public space, participant-based practices and alternative strategies for urban development.