Urban Pockets Design: Reclaiming Third Landscape Through Participatory Processes and Game Theory


1- Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

 Download PDF Full-text


Urban pockets are small semi-public spaces located inside urban blocks, also known as third landscapes. This typology of urban spaces is usually neglected and underused, due to the lack of maintenance, or the transformation of the residential area overall. Pocket parks, albeit small in size, can be considered a real potential in sparking livability in the respective communities, if they are transformed through participatory actions. In this context the main focus of the research is to emphasize the potential of urban pockets, through a comprehensive participatory approach. To achieve this, a series of pocket parks have been identified and transformed, by redesigning the space and, most importantly, analyzing the third landscape, as the residual green micro-areas in-between buildings, that serve no real purpose to date. The process of transformation was led by the inhabitants, through a series of workshops and design of scenarios through gaming. This allowed the community to take ownership of the product, both in terms of design, financing, and later on implementation and maintenance. This research highlights the importance of preserving and reclaiming the third landscape and underlines the benefits of conducting participatory, gaming processes to co-create sustainable, long-lasting designs..

Keywords: urban pockets; participatory process; game theory; third landscape