Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Suzanne Mathew

Second Advisor

Ann Kearsley, Nick De Pace


This thesis is committed to exploring and discussing the way people behave in the temporary urbanism, perceive and deploy their space arrangement rights and how this nourishes relationships between people, between people and society, and brings a greater sense of spiritual identity and belonging to people.

The modern city is the result of the spatial distribution of material production, urban space is political and oriented to the distribution of power, and citizens are deprived of the subjective qualification and right to participate in the creation o f urban cultural space. Many factors have led to the monopolization of human participation in urban space, the weakening of the spiritual connection between people, the intense focus on the self, and the increasing loss of collective values and memories.

The spaces in temporary urbanism are formed more intentionally and purposeful by every citizen with shared values, collective beliefs and memories. Fo r example, Burning Man, Kumbh Mela and Mecca, they are either temporary cities themselv es or temporary land use in permanent cities.

By taking RISD strike 2023 as a base to further discuss spatial democracy as the continuation of the case study, and on the other hand, I could further sort out and compare the four cases deeply since I experienced the whole process. I could better appreciate how connections have been made between people, igniting new conversations.

In the last part of the thesis, I got to comprehend and apply those principles on a small scale where I live daily.


View exhibition online: Shijie Li, Temporary Urbanism-Spatial Democracy in the Temporary City



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