Since 2015, “somes delivery” has been a yearly reoccurrence. The event draws visitors to the river and gives it a new and more central role in the city. At the same time, the initiative offers a well-framed response to the local community’s needs.
Envisioning: relating to public interest
Somes Delivery tackles a different area every year. It approaches that particular area from a multidisciplinary perspective. The opportunities and problems of the space itself are analysed and temporary interventions devised to see what might work as a more permanent solution. Temporary events, workshops and competitions are held to bring the community together and improve the attractiveness of the area. At the same time, the riverbanks are cleaned up and sanitised while workshops raise awareness for environmental topics. More initiatives, such as the festival Somes - I Am Ripairian, have also drawn attention to the river Somes and helped to reintegrate it into city life.
Activating & experimenting: promoting & incubating
Over the years, Somes Delivery has seen many different actions succeed. The Somes Delivery Pavilion, for instance, was a large temporary building at the river shore which linked the nearby Cetatuia Park with the river and drew attention to the event site. Visitors and passers-by could draw their own ideas for the riverbanks on large boards, thus interacting directly with the city. A pier-to-pier cable ferry allowed people to cross the river and marked the need for a pedestrian bridge.
Another temporary installation took the form of a group of bright silhouettes passing on the river shore, a nocturnal invitation to get closer to the river. Somes View was a terraced garden, offering a wide view of the surrounding landscape.
All of these temporary functions have shown the importance of co-designing and testing different methods, be it top-down or bottom-up. Citizens’ solutions to urban problems, even if temporary, may well be the key to urban well-being.