Community Focused Tactical Urbanism: How you can unlock civic pride

What does tactical urbanism mean to me?

If you don’t know what tactical urbanism is, then here is a very straightforward explanation:

Tactical urbanism consists of low-cost, temporary changes to a built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places. Perhaps most important is that it can be done cheaply or at no cost, by almost anyone.

Essentially, it’s the cool, punk-rock loving cousin of placemaking - the multi-faceted approach to planning, designing and managing public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential to create public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well-being. Residents are the ones with the lived experience that give all the important answers, and they should be included at every opportunity, right?

Often they are not - for various reasons - and so tactical urbanism is the ideal way for residents to enact positive change in their areas without the need for government assistance.

So, how can they start their own projects? How can you inspire and inform them?

If only there was a free resource…

Great news! We’ve created one.

We here at New Union are enthusiastic about creating positive change in underrepresented communities, and so we’ve created a free educational toolkit that does just that.

It contains all the necessary information needed to inform NGOs about the basics of tactical urbanism, the ways in which it has been done successfully around the globe, and engages participants through an interactive workshop to plan and enact their own projects.

Do you have examples?

Of course!

The toolkit is packed with examples of brilliant tactical urbanism, both little and large.

For instance, artist Magda Sayeg’s Yarn Bombing began as a way to brighten up her Texan town, and later grew into an international movement! We uncover the “butterfly effect”, proving that no act of tactical urbanism is too small, and humble beginnings are where it’s at.

The Park(ing) project of Biscayne Green in Miami transformed unused parking lots into viable public green spaces, catching the attention of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, who financed its expansion across the city. We show how your grassroots project can grow to catch the attention of investors.

Kit of Parks is a product created by architecture firm Boston Society of Landscape Architects, in response to tactical urbanism seen across social media. The kits are bright yellow - perfect for social media posts, where the community adds Kit of Parks into their own digital stories… We reveal how digital storytelling is crucial to change.

Ultimately, we explore projects that began with small ideas and later grew into large-scale positive changes. Just like yours can and will.

After this workshop, you and the participants will know all about:-

- Chair bombing
- Pop-up street food events
- ECOmmunity days
- Community cohesion
- Guerilla signposting
- Depaving
- Green spacing

...and many more examples of how to roll up those sleeves and get stuck in, realistically putting them into practice where you live. Whether or not you’ve heard of these before, there is plenty to learn, and we know that you’ll become inspired.

Cool story, bro!

Not only does this workshop teach about placemaking and tactical urbanism through engaging activities and stylish visuals, but it also teaches you about the human element. Both

the general public and angel investors react best to positive, feel-good stories that show how your project has changed people’s lives.

This workshop runs through the basics of digital storytelling, showing how to report activities and outcomes through powerful, top-quality narratives. What’s more, we’ve provided you with a ready-made report that you can fill out, chop and change, and later publish as a blog. Let everyone know that you make things happen.

I’m still looking for the catch...

Keep looking because there are no hidden or upfront costs - it’s totally free!

Well... We do ask one thing: we’d like to see how you’ve run your workshop, what successes have come from it, and how it has informed improvements in your area. That’s really it, in exchange for this free toolkit.

Remember to tag us online, and use the hashtag #RETHINKREPLACE.

So what am I waiting for?

We honestly don’t know. The toolkit includes guidelines, the workshop presentation and manuscript, activity worksheets, stylish printouts for the activities, editable posters and e-flyers to pin-up, post and promote your event, and even a report outline that provides you with a blog of your own. All that for a few social media posts.

Head over to this link right now and download the workshop immediately.