This study highlights the temporary uses of two transition spaces (the Grove and PLOT) in Newton, Surrey from 2014 to 2020. The significance of these spaces is that their different interim users challenged 'dominant' prescribed uses or lack of uses, and in turn, proposed short-term creative appropriations of previously vacant and stigmatized spaces in the City of Surrey. These creative interventions emerged out of necessity, predominantly centered around the issue of safety for women. Although temporary and short-lived, the trial-and-error approach of these interventions has created powerful effects for this neighborhood: empowering residents who might have previously felt helpless - or intimidated - to take responsibility and engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives. This community-engaged research also unfurls the spatial and relational dynamics, alongside the consequences of these temporary efforts under contemporary neoliberal conditions. There have been tensions around inclusion and access, particularly in relation to how and who is allowed to shape and reclaim these spaces. These tensions make visible social, cultural and economic differences amongst temporary users, informing biases and perceptions of their and others' roles in these spaces. Even with the best intentions at heart, these relational dynamics coupled with pressures from the City, can exacerbate feelings of unsafety, elicit burnout, and even cause exclusion and displacement of those already on the periphery.
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Thesis advisor: Holden, Meg
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