|Photo: Street Plans|
Improving the livability of our towns and cities commonly starts at the street, block, or building scale. While larger scale efforts do have their place, incremental, small-scale improvements are increasingly seen as a way to stage more substantial investments. This approach allows a host of local actors to test new concepts before making substantial political and financial commitments. Sometimes sanctioned, sometimes not, these actions are commonly referred to as "guerilla urbanism," "pop-up urbanism," "city repair," or D.I.Y. urbanism." For the moment, we like "Tactical Urbanism," which is an approach that features the following five characteristics:
- 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 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.
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