Tactical Urbanism Final
What do street fairs, pop-up retail and chair bombing all have in common? They are low cost, high impact “tactics” for improving a neighborhood. Every city planner, developer or active citizen should start to think about how they can execute short term experiments that help build momentum for a project, change the perception of a place or energize support for bigger plans in your community. We have started doing this in Providence, and I plan to write about them in the coming weeks under the new topic of “Tactical Urbanism”.
My friend Mike Lydon defines Tactical Urbanism over at Pattern Cities as:
– A deliberate, phased approach to instigating change;
– The offering of local solutions for local planning challenges;
– Short-term commitment and realistic expectations;
– Low-risks, with a possibly a high reward; and
– The development of social capital between citizens and the building of organizational capacity between public-private institutions, non-profits, and their constituents.
For more info on this emerging set of tools you can download the report here, read about the idea here, here, and here. Hope you are enjoying your weekend, and, perhaps, heading out to enjoy a Pop-Up Cafe or an Open Street.
Over vacation I took the opportunity to dive into The Smart Growth Manual by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck and, fellow Living Urbanism editor, Mike Lydon. The manual is a comprehensive review of the practices that lead to the creation of smart places. I highly recommend giving it a read even if you are a seasoned practitioner. The concise text and illustrative images layout the techniques that are at the forefront of planning, urban design and architecture. The design of the book is memorable as well. I hope to see it on the desks of town planners everywhere.
Frequently riding my bike around Providence I have determined that yes the city can create complete streets. I see all of the “systems” and “facilities” being installed in bigger cities. like New York and Amsterdam, and wonder if there isn’t a simpler way. Can the streets of a city be designed in a form that gives equal footing to all modes of transportation?
How we go about making this transition in Providence is an entirely different conversation that I hope to start this weekend. Friend, colleague and fellow editor of Living Urbanism, Mike Lydon will be stopping in Providence over the next two days. I am hoping to learn a few things from him about bicycle planning and complete street development while showing him around our, more or less, bikeable city.
Mike was also nice enough to agree to pull together a presentation on the best practices of bicycle planning and livable streets development being given on Monday, 10/28, at 11 AM. Check out the facebook event for more info.
For more information on Mike Lydon click here and reserve a copy of his upcoming book, Smart Growth Manual, written with Andrés Duany and Jeff Speck.
(photo by Providence Public Library)