This design critique explores how a top-down approach of conventional planning coincides with a do-it-(y)ourself project that evolved from the site and is facilitated by a designated mediator working within in city administration with the purpose of bridging the city’s disconnected departments. Hence, the project called Jubileumsparken 0.5 was instigated in 2013 as a place making project in concurrence with urban planning undertakings in order to facilitate a redevelopment of the harbour area of Frihamnen in Gothenburg, Sweden. The purpose of this ongoing project is to make use of the intervening period to explore the site and its specific qualities and relationships, and to test these through prototypes and events before plans and protocols are set in stone. Only three years later, at a point when this specific time period is starting to run out and the first development plans are being drafted, this article demonstrates – through a transformation analysis – that the abandoned site has been turned into a particular place through people’s engagement and the processes of building together. Furthermore, it shows that the embedded narratives of these actions are starting to challenge the planners' otherwise distant and abstract understanding of this place.