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Tactical Urbanism: How It's Done
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Tactical Urbanism: How It's Done

Tactical Urbanism: How It's Done

97 min

This course is approved for 1.5 AICP CM credits.

From unsanctioned crosswalks to city-led "Pavement-to-Plaza" programs, instructor Mike Lydon describes the success of short-term, temporary projects in influencing long-term physical and policy changes in cities across the United States and Canada. Whether working alongside neighbors and family on a Saturday morning or with your co-workers at the local planning department, interventions require preparation and a framework for action. The course also identifies key resources for learning about specific projects and the larger movement of tactical urbanism.


In This Course

  1. Mike provides a quick review of Course 1 and an introduction to Course 2's learning objectives.
  2. This chapter describes citizen-led initiatives, often organized in response to municipal negligence or abdication. DIY crosswalks and "chair bombing," for instance, can improve pedestrian infrastructure and street vitality. The chapter also retells the story of Walk Raleigh, exemplifying how the unsanctioned can become the "sought after."
  3. Better Intersections, Better Blocks
    This chapter offers more case studies of citizen-led initiatives, such as intersection repair and 'depave,' which puts neighbors in motion to improve safety and repurpose an imbalanced built environment. Recent and developing stories, including Open Streets' 48x48x48, show that neighborhood-led urbanism can produce sustained, city-wide buy-in and attention.
  4. What about the Developers?
    Pre-vitalization—giving life to a site before any revitalization happens—is an important tool to get developers on board in shaping a community and local business vision.
  5. Rendering in Real Time
    Chapter 5 is about iterative, real time activities and projects going viral. Parking Day by ReBar, for instance, has helped the parklet become ubiquitous in American cities. The chapter also introduces projects such as "C3TS" and "Park Making" and offers ideas on metrics that citizen planners can use to support permanent change.
  6. Cities in the Lead: Median Repair
    Chapter 6 examines the cities at the forefront in engaging, citizen led initiatives.
  7. Cities in the Lead: Paint and Plazas
    Chapter 7 reveals more balanced approaches to locally led revitalization. Cases include activating the Manhattan Bridge Plaza, connecting busines improvement districts with public art, Putnam Triangle in Brooklyn, and Plaza de Panama in San Diego.
  8. This chapter delves into larger cases of coordination and wide-spread change such as Open Streets—the temporary closure of streets to allow public spaces and activities other than driving.
  9. The course's final cases studies examine strategies and tactics from the public working inside to the government, and from city leadership working out to the public.
  10. A Framework for Action 1
    This chapter moves from case studies to the Open Streets approach to developing a 'tactical' project. The Open Streets approach includes identifying opportunity sites, leveraging existing initiatives, and considering scale, adjacencies, and responses.
  11. A Framework for Action 2
    This chapter continues to build a framework for tactical engagement with your city.
  12. Additional Resources
    Chapter 12 offers additional resources for DIY, tactical, or guerrilla urbanism projects seeking lasting change from short-term initiatives.

Published 2014