Note — Jul 25, 2021

The Simplest Tool for Improving Cities Is Also Free

This has turned into the ‘language, thinking, and perspectives’ issue and this is a great one by Sara Hendren where she proposes time as a way to rethink cities, design new ways of seeing and living in neighbourhoods, along streets, in temporary parks, and even museums. Using time shifting, citizen groups and urban planners can find a very lightweight way of experimenting, of trying things out and letting the results speak for themselves.
For me it also connects to hybrid back to work, four day weeks, and five hour days. Twisting how we inhabit the hours, to see new possibilities.

It happens in cities everywhere: design, or redesign, created by time. A weekend clock turns an open street into something else entirely — a time structure organized outside commuter efficiency or traffic flows. Urban planners sometimes call it “temporal zoning.” […]
We can creatively reorganize our collective hours and days in ways that help more people enjoy our cities and institutions. Time might be our most valuable resource for building the environments we want. […]

The pandemic may ultimately force us — or beckon with an invitation — to see the clock as a resource for the cities we want, one that’s always been right in front of us: an undersung and powerful utility on a designer’s tool belt. […]