Tactical Urbanism Workshop and Implementation Plan | Hamilton, ON

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Type: Tactical Urbanism Workshop and Implementation Plan 

Size: Multi-Neighborhood

Status: Implementation Underway

Awards: CNU Charter Award: ‘Best Tactical Project’

The Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects (HBSA) and the Ontario Architects Association (OAA) retained Street Plans to lead a Tactical Urbanism workshop aimed at five prototypical challenge sites found throughout the city. While Tactical Urbanism was not necessarily new in Hamilton – Parking Meter Parties, the Sew Hungry Food Truck Festival, and Open Streets are three local examples – the workshop aimed to further educate the citizenry about similar actions being taken across North America, and to inspire citizens to become more involved in the physical improvement of their city. 

A variety of architects, professional planners, neighborhood residents, journalists, and advocacy group representatives attended the April 19th, 2013 workshop. Following an introductory lecture led by Mike Lydon, participants were divided into five teams and tasked with identifying the challenges and opportunities associated with one of five sites representing a variety of conditions found within the city. Each team was then asked to develop low-cost and low-risk interventions intended to communicate possibilities for creating positive change in both the short- and long-term. Seed money was then provided by HBSA for the implementation of a select number of projects before the public lecture, which held on May 2. 

With several projects “pilot tested” by citizens, the workshop had an immediate impact. While the City of Hamilton pushed back on the activity of workshop attendees, they soon saw the value of approaching existing challenges with short-term, inexpensive pilot projects. Within 6 months of the workshop more than 65 intersections, and now more than 100, had received pilot improvements, including the initial Locke/Herkimer Street intersection, which now has permanent infrastructure. 

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