During our Warsaw visit we found out that informal use of the city is an important issue in Warsaw. We passed by several post socialists, in-between spaces that obviously have no formal purpose (yet / anymore) and which were often occupied by informal uses like markets and its economies. Not only those “waiting” spaces are occupied, people selling their goods on the sidewalks use even regular street space. In combination with the loss of “Jarmark Europa” as Warsaw’s central informal trading site, a serious lack of space for these activities emerges. Our argument is, that the informal part of the cities economy is an important part of urban diversity and its user -interface. The traders play an important role in offering cheap goods to low-income layers of society. The informal markets generate an alternative way of establishing businesses, of individual careers and learning economic and social networks.

As we doubt that putting “Jarmark Europa´s” traders to the outskirts of Warsaw in order to substitute Praga´s stadium will be a suitable strategy, we propose a small-scale solution with its units spread out all over the city. This is going to happen by putting occupable structures, which at first have no fixed purpose or program in the streets. In our drawing you can see these structures in different stadiums of appropriation: from the emergence through the ground (fiction part of the story - reference to bottom-up or grassroots-strategies), they kind of crystallise as a new layer in the urban fabric and add un programmed space to the urban setting. We conclude three types of spaces are needed in the city: private, public and informal space.

raumlabor - team synchonicity
markus bader
christof mayer
stephan henrich
katrin murbach