Street Plans traveled to Louisville, KY for the 27th annual Congress for the New Urbanism. During the conference, team members Mike Lydon, Dana Wall, and Ed Janoff led sessions on best practices for asphalt art, creating value through placemaking, and unconventional public engagement strategies using Tactical Urbanism. In advance of the Congress, Street Plans led a CNU Legacy Project workshop in the East Portland neighborhood. Over the course of 2 days, Street Plans met community members to find ways to accelerate improved connectivity within East Portland and look at tactical urbanism solutions that can be implemented in the near future.
Mike Lydon and Dana Wall traveled to the 2019 Urban Resilience Summit in Rotterdam, The Netherlands to lead a demonstration project as a part of the Tactical Urbanism Living Lab, one of 12 on-site conference sessions on Wednesday, July 10th. Street Plans designed a “plaza” to be implemented with duct tape that would define an area to engage both passersby and summit participants in a feedback exercise for a commercial corridor in Rotterdam’s Feijenoord neighborhood. Street Plans laid out the markings for the design, and with summit participants installed the plaza using colorful duct tape in the colors of the city and of the neighborhood’s professional soccer team.
What’s the ROI of Tactical Urbanism? Our friends at State of Place ran an analysis of our recent Asheville Street Tweaks project with Asheville on Bikes and Asheville City Government to find out. While the intervention on Coxe Avenue focused on shared mobility and enhancing walkability, the study showed the impacts were felt far beyond the right of way.
The State of Place index score rose from 42.3 to 71.8, with a projected value capture of $3,510,323, or a return of $23.10 for every dollar invested. Not bad for $150k ($30k worth of paint, planters, and recycled plastic barriers)!
Street Plans Principal, Mike Lydon, keynoted an open session for a smart growth series program in Niagara Falls titled “Imagining a More Livable NF.” The program was launched to explore solutions for the future of the City of Niagara Falls centered around the built environment and the livability of the city. The open sessions focused on issues like mobility, housing, and placemaking.
Lydon hosted a session during which he went over the principles of tactical urbanism and its power to create more walkable and livable urban spaces. Attendees had the opportunity to present questions and have an open conversation about how to improve walkability and multi-modal options in the city.
Once thought to be an urban design trend, April’s Landscape Architecture Magazine focuses its April issue on the enduring power of Tactical Urbanism. Along with many other colleagues and collaborators, Street Plans’ work is prominently featured in the Magazine’s lead article.
“The appeal of these kinds of interventions is a kind of made-by-hand aesthetic,” Lydon says. “It feels very human. It speaks to people who are not designers in a very important way. Most people who engage with these spaces don’t read Landscape Architecture Magazine. They don’t understand an axial or an aerial plan. But they get the immediacy and the human quality and the materiality.”
As one of the movement’s founders, Mike Lydon recognizes the limits of temporary public space. Tactical urbanism isn’t going to solve issues such as affordable housing, access to transit, and food access, but it can be done in tandem with that, he says. “It’s never about just the one day or the one month of the project, but where we are on the arc of transformation and making political and social change.”
It’s Landscape Architecture month, so the whole issue is free!
Alongside a number of community members and project proponents, Mike Lydon shared some of his thoughts for Streetfilms about the Barcelona Superblock, an urban design approach that seeks to return the majority of street space to community use. The innovative approach has captured attention across the globe, garnering more than 80,000 plays in 6 months, making it the Streetfilm of the year!
The New Tropic, an important community news site in Miami, recently published an article from our Project Manager, Dana Wall. The article provides an overview of recent pilot programs that have been launched in the city to test infrastructure and allow citizens to “take back their streets.” Dana also discusses the challenges behind the permitting processes that are required by local authorities and the need for local government to work alongside community members for these pilot programs to translate to sustained change.
Click HERE for the article!
Over the course of 4 days, Street Plans led the transformation of a .3-mile stretch of Coxe Avenue in Asheville, NC. The project team comprised of volunteers from Asheville on Bikes, the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club and the AARP.
The team created 6 new crosswalks, a .3-mile parking and barrier-protected multi-use path, and installed a 6,000 sq. ft. mural created by Sound Mind Creative to test pedestrian and bicycle safety solutions on the corridor. These changes focused on making public spaces more accesible, safe, and functional for al users. While this pilot project may last up to a year, it will inform the city’s ultimate redesign of Coxe Avenue in the short-term.
Click HERE for an article on the project installation!
Check out a few photos of the final result below:
Street Plans has teamed up with the City of Honolulu to implement a two-phase tactical urbanism project starting in 2019. The first phase will consist of a pilot project that will test an existing design while involving community members and City partners. The second phase will focus on developing a quick-build program for the City to test and implement other community-led projects to make communities safer and more walkable.
Click HERE for more information about this upcoming project!
On November 8th, Principal Mike Lydon keynoted the Nashville Civic Design Center’s annual luncheon where 800 people gathered to discuss the topic of reclaiming public space.
Click HERE for more details on the annual luncheon!