Thursday, October 10, 2019

Another DRI Decision Made

The DRI Committee met on Tuesday. The most significant thing to report from the meeting is that a team has been chosen to carry out the connectivity project--a DRI project that combines "Complete Streets" improvements for the BRIDGE District (everything below Second Street, from the north side to the south side), streetscape enhancements for Cross Street, and rebuilding the Second Street stairs. That team is made up of Arterial, Street Plans Collaborative, and Creighton Manning.

Photo: Street Plans
Given the involvement of Street Plans Collaborative, a term we are likely to hear often in the coming months is Tactical Urbanism. On its website, Street Plans Collaborative makes the following statement: "Through the publication of six open-source guides and one full-length book, we have become the progenitors and stewards of the Tactical Urbanism movement." One those publications, Tactical Urbanism, Vol. 1, describes the movement in this way:
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.   
To learn more Tactical Urbanism, you watch a video called Tactical Urbanism: An Introduction, featuring Mike Lydon, who is one of the principals of Street Plans Collaborative. It's the first of a series of videos that explore the subject, all available on YouTube.

When the three groups that will be collaborating on the connectivity project made their presentation to the DRI Committee on September 24, the first person to speak was a representative from Arterial, who said they'd been exploring Hudson before the meeting, "holding ourselves back from brainstorming too hard as we walked around."

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