So, why should we care about tactical urbanism?
The Covid-19 Pandemic has deprived us all of access to the public spaces that were once a normal part of our daily lives. I think it’s fair to say many of us now see these places in a new light. Being stuck inside all day has made us realise how important they actually are to our health and wellbeing. I for one don’t know what i’d do without my daily walk around the block.
Once this lockdown finally blows over, let’s come together as communities to improve the places that have helped us all through this hard time. After what we’ve been through, I think we all deserve our neighbourhoods to be better than they ever were.
Which is why we are planning something really special in February, if I have twinged your interest, read on.
The Funding Issue
The pandemic has taken a massive toll on the world’s economies. The reality is placemaking activities are going to be low on the priorities for local government funding. Of course, that’s understandable given the impact this crisis has had. But that still shouldn’t mean the places we live in should suffer. Why, when we have all worked so hard to get through this, should we lose that momentum? Let’s come out of this crisis with a newfound drive to breathe life back into our spaces. Don’t worry, i’ll spare you the phoenix metaphor.
Tactical Urbanism could be the Solution
So, the question remains, how can we improve our places when urban planning funding will likely take a huge hit? The answer... Inspire communities to take action into their own hands through tactical urbanism.
Tactical urbanism is all about community-led, activism-centred placemaking, without the pricetag. It focuses on taking an often run-down, under-used place and renovating it in all sorts of innovative and exciting ways. Communities can come together, share ideas for what spaces need reviving in their area and start their own project to do this.
Come and celebrate tactical urbanism with us (virtually of course)
Here at New Union, we wanted to celebrate the power of tactical urbanism and empower people to use it within their communities. But we understand that this can be a bit daunting. That’s why we started the Rethink Re:Place project to make tactical urbanism user-friendly and accessible to everyone, no matter their background.
As part of the Rethink Re:Place project, we are running a week-long Rethink Re:Place Festival from 22nd-28th February 2021. It will be a big celebration of tactical urbanism, featuring: virtual workshops, blogs, talks, interviews with interesting placemakers and activists, and even a policy hackathon. And it’s the perfect opportunity to get your hands on free, high-quality training and tools.
What’s in it for us? The satisfaction of driving community development and helping people to change their neighbourhoods for the better. The festival will be run entirely by our passionate volunteers. Neither New Union, nor any of our partners facilitating workshops or taking part in talks, will be making any profit from the festival.
Our Free Virtual Workshops for Local Government
We’re inviting Local Governments from across the world to run their own customised version of our workshop, during the festival. We’ll adapt our Community-focused Tactical Urbanism toolkit to your council, adding in your branding and any other information you like. We’ll even help you promote your workshop and get participants from your community. We will cover all the costs and it is completely free-of-charge.
The workshop materials are designed so that anybody can organise and facilitate the workshop themselves with no prior training. But it is important to note that the workshop content will be in English. To run a workshop during the festival and to learn more about it, all you have to do is sign up here (this will take you to a different blog).
It’s the perfect opportunity to train your staff and residents in tactical urbanism and to get ideas for projects and policy to help improve your community. We’ll send you all the materials, so you can run the workshop as many times as you like. That’s exactly what we want!
We may even be able to facilitate the workshop for you. Of course, this depends on capacity, but we will do what we can.
I need to add, you will need to hurry as the deadline for applications is the 5th February.
The Virtual Policy Hackathon
Don’t work for Local Government? Still want to learn more about tactical urbanism and how you can get involved? Then our Virtual Policy Hackathon is perfect for you.
Our hackathon is open to complete beginners wanting to learn more about tactical urbanism. And those of you with experience in tactical urbanism and placemaking, who are hoping to get some great new ideas. Everyone is welcome. The hackathon will be run by our dedicated volunteers on the Rethink Re:Place project.
You’ll learn all about:
You’ll also be able to take part in virtual activities designed to inspire your own tactical urbanism ideas. We’ll use your ideas and feedback to make policy recommendations that organisations can use as a community engagement sample.
The best thing is, it’s all completely free. If you are interested in taking part in our policy hackathon, then sign up on Eventbrite here. We have limited spaces, so hurry and get yours now!
Want to give a talk?
Are you running your own exciting tactical urbanism or placemaking project? We’d love to hear about it. If you’d like to tell us all about your project in a pre-recorded presentation that would be featured during our festival, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It could be a fantastic opportunity to share your project, get some publicity and maybe even some participants.
See you soon!
We’re really excited to be running this festival and celebrating tactical urbanism with you all. We can’t wait to hear all of your amazing ideas for improving places in your communities and to help inspire new projects. Don’t forget to sign up below, so you can take part.