Tactical urbanism in a time of coronavirus

DIY Urbanism, Planning-by-Doing, Urban Acupuncture, or Urban Prototyping:

community-led, low-cost and scalable place-based interventions.

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An idea seems to have found its moment:

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What is Tactical Urbanism?

Pedestrian Plazas. Parklets. Pop-up Bike Lanes.

Whether you live in a community large or small, you’ve likely seen it for yourself. Cities around the world are using flexible and short-term projects to advance long-term goals related to street safety, public space, and more.

Tactical Urbanism is all about action. Also known as DIY Urbanism, Planning-by-Doing, Urban Acupuncture, or Urban Prototyping, this approach refers to a city, organizational, and/or citizen-led approach to neighborhood building using short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions to catalyze long-term change.

Examples include highly-visible and formalized efforts, such as New York’s Plaza Program, or smaller-scale “demonstration projects” (typically lasting 1 to 7 days). Tactical Urbanism projects can be led by governments, non-profits, grassroots groups, or frustrated residents. Though the degree of formality may vary, Tactical Urbanism projects share common goal of using low-cost materials to experiment with and gather input on potential street design changes.

Over the past decade Tactical Urbanism has become an international movement, bringing about a profound shift in how communities think about project development and delivery.

tacticalurbanismguide.com/about/

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With something more official from the government-sponsored High Streets Task Force:

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Supporting safe public and private spaces on the high street

A significant week in the UK and England has seen the release of much guidance on the management of urban centres and the businesses within them.

The UK Government published a large volume of guidance this week with the aim of supporting people and organisations to plan for the future. Amongst this were three key documents, critical for those managing high streets, towns and cities: guidance on safer public places; guidance for businesses and employees on working safely; and statutory guidance on reallocating road space for walking and cycling.

The Task Force has been working to respond to the issues of managing physical space and we expect to publish expanded support materials for place leaders soon. In this newsletter are a range of resources to help you reflect on the opportunities and challenges of high street spaces – and what you might do to address these (perhaps as a ‘tactical urbanist’). We hope they prove useful and invite submission of any initiatives and ideas you are taking forward to resources@highstreetstaskforce.org.uk

highstreetstaskforce.org.uk/resources

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And an excellent video makes it all very clear:

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Introduction to Tactical Urbanism

In this 10-minute video, Dr Steve Millington of the Institute of Place Management provides an introduction to ‘tactical urbanism’ – an umbrella term for community-led, low-cost and scalable place-based interventions. Dr. Millington applies this discipline to the requirements of social distancing in response to COVID-19, looking at examples from around the world that could be implemented locally.

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Watch now

Introduction to Tactical Urbanism

   
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