Tactical urbanism is a term used to describe a range of low-cost, temporary interventions in the built environment. Tactical urbanism can be defined as a grassroots movement of citizens and activists who are looking to improve their cities and neighborhoods through small-scale, temporary interventions. The goal of tactical urbanism is to improve the quality of life in cities and areas and engage citizens in planning and designing their communities. Tactical urbanism projects are typically low-cost and low-tech, and often make use of reclaimed or repurposed materials. They are typically designed to be temporary, to allow for experimentation and flexibility. Tactical urbanism has been used to address many issues, including public space, transportation, housing, and economic development. Projects have ranged from pop-up parks and bike lanes to community gardens and micro-business incubators. Tactical urbanism has been embraced by cities and municipalities around the world as a way to test new ideas and approaches without the need for expensive and time-consuming planning processes. 

Tactical urbanism has its roots in the work of the Italian architect and urbanist Carlo Mollino. In the 1950s, Mollino proposed a series of small-scale interventions called ‘vertical urbanism’. These interventions were designed to improve the quality of life in cities by making them more livable and efficient. In the 1970s, the Spanish architect and urbanist Oriol Bohigas began to experiment with temporary interventions in the public space. Bohigas saw these interventions as a way to engage citizens in the planning and design of their neighborhoods. In the 1980s, the Brazilian architect and urbanist Jaime Lerner began experimenting with ‘urban acupuncture’. Lerner saw urban acupuncture as a way to improve the quality of life in cities by targeting specific problems with small-scale interventions. In the early 2000s, a group of American urbanists, including Mike Lydon, Ashley Maier, and Anthony Garcia, began to experiment. The movement gained traction with the publication of the book Tactical Urbanism by Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia.

Tactical Urbanism and How it Complements Participatory Planning - Sheet1
An overview on tactical urbanism_©re-thinkingthefuture.com

Tactical Urbanism has been used to describe everything from pop-up shops and bike lanes to public art installations and community gardens. Tactical urbanism is often seen as a complement to traditional planning processes, as it can be used to quickly and easily test out ideas in the built environment with minimal cost and disruption. Traditional planning processes can be lengthy and bureaucratic, and often require a high level of expertise and resources. In contrast, tactical urbanism interventions can be implemented relatively quickly and cheaply, and often require little more than some paint, some plants, and a bit of elbow grease. Tactical urbanism interventions can also be a great way to engage citizens in the planning process. Rather than being consulted on plans that may never see the light of day, citizens can be involved in the creation of temporary or permanent changes to their local environment. Tactical urbanism can thus be seen as a way to increase citizen participation in the planning process, and to create more livable, vibrant, and sustainable communities.

Tactical urbanism is a response to the top-down, bureaucratic approach to city planning that has often left citizens feeling powerless and disconnected from the planning process. Tactical urbanism is about empowering people to take control of their own city planning. It is about giving citizens the tools and the opportunity to shape their own urban environment. It is a bottom-up approach that puts people at the center of the planning process. The beauty of tactical urbanism is that it can be done on a small scale and with limited resources. It does not require the approval of city planners or the city council. It can be as simple as painting a crosswalk or planting a garden. Tactical urbanism is an effective way to engage citizens in the planning process. It is a way to give people a voice in the shaping of their city. It is a way to make the planning process more democratic and inclusive.

Tactical Urbanism and How it Complements Participatory Planning - Sheet2
tactical urbanism in hp junction, mumbai_©wri-india.org

On the other hand, participatory planning is a process through which people who will be affected by a project or decision are involved in the planning process. The aim is to ensure that the needs and concerns of those who will be affected are taken into account and that the project or decision meets their needs and expectations. 

Participatory planning generally involves four steps: 

  1. Consultation: Those who will be affected by the project or decision are consulted and their views are sought. This can be done through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or other methods. 
  2. Analysis: The data collected through consultation is analyzed to identify key issues and concerns. 
  3. Development of options: Possible solutions to the identified issues and concerns are developed. 
  4. Implementation: The chosen option is implemented, and the process is monitored to ensure that it is effective. 

Participatory planning is an important tool for ensuring that projects and decisions are responsive to the needs of those affected by them. It can also help to build support for a project or decision and to ensure that it is implemented effectively. It is a collaborative process in which all stakeholders work together to identify and address the needs and concerns of the community. The goal of participatory planning is to empower community members to have a voice in the decisions that affect them. Participatory planning is an important tool for addressing social and economic inequality. It allows community members to share their concerns and needs with decision-makers, and to have a say in the solutions that are proposed. Participatory planning is a process that can be used to address a wide range of issues, from land use and transportation to education and health. When done well, participatory planning can lead to improved outcomes for all involved. 

Tactical Urbanism and How it Complements Participatory Planning - Sheet3
People’s participation in planning_©civicplan.ca

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role that the public can play in the planning and design of their cities. This participatory approach to urbanism is often referred to as tactical urbanism. The basic premise of tactical urbanism is that by providing opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process, cities can become more responsive to the needs of their residents. This bottom-up approach can lead to more innovative and effective solutions to urban problems than traditional top-down methods. One of the most successful examples of tactical urbanism is the Pavement to Parks program in San Francisco. This program was created in response to the city’s need for more public space. By working with the community, the city was able to quickly and cheaply transform underutilized streets into vibrant public spaces. The success of the Pavement to Parks program demonstrates how tactical urbanism and participatory planning can go hand in hand. By involving the public in the planning process, cities can create more livable, sustainable, and equitable places.

As cities continue to grow and evolve, the need for effective and efficient planning becomes more and more important. At the same time, the traditional top-down approach to planning is increasingly being challenged in favor of a more participatory approach. This is where tactical urbanism and participatory planning come in. Tactical urbanism is all about using small-scale interventions to improve the urban environment. This can be anything from installing a new crosswalk to painting a mural. The beauty of tactical urbanism is that it can be done quickly and relatively cheaply, making it an ideal tool for engaging citizens in the planning process. Participatory planning, furthermore, is all about involving citizens in the planning process from start to finish. This can take many different forms, but the goal is always the same: to ensure that the final plan reflects the needs and wants of the people who will be using it. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement each other perfectly. Tactical urbanism can be used to engage citizens and get them involved in the planning process, while participatory planning can help ensure that the final plan meets the needs of the people.

Tactical Urbanism and How it Complements Participatory Planning - Sheet4
participatory approach in design_©academia.edu

Tactical urbanism and participatory planning are two concepts that go conjointly. Tactical urbanism is a bottom-up approach to planning that focuses on small-scale interventions that can have a big impact. It’s a flexible, iterative approach that values community input and participation. Participatory planning, on the other hand, is a top-down approach that relies on community engagement to create plans and make decisions. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, but when used together, they can complement each other to create more holistic, effective, and community-driven planning. Tactical urbanism is often seen as a more nimble, responsive, and cost-effective approach to planning than traditional top-down methods. It’s a great way to test out ideas on a small scale before investing in larger, more permanent changes. And because it relies on community input and participation, it can help build buy-in and support for initiatives from the ground up. But tactical urbanism can also be seen as a Band-Aid solution that fails to address the root causes of problems. It can be difficult to scale up successful interventions, and there’s always the risk that temporary changes will be undone when they’re no longer convenient or trendy. Participatory planning, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive and long-term approach. By engaging community members in the planning process, you can get a better understanding of their needs and concerns. This can help create more informed and effective plans. participatory planning can also help build support for initiatives from the ground up, which can help get buy-in from decision-makers. However, participatory planning can also be time-consuming and resource-intensive. It can be difficult to get community members to participate, and there’s always the risk that plans will be ignored or shelved once they’re created. When used together, tactical urbanism and participatory planning can create a more holistic and effective approach to planning. Tactical urbanism can be used to test out ideas and get community buy-in, while participatory planning can provide a more comprehensive and long-term framework. By combining the two approaches, you can create more community-driven, responsive, and effective planning.

People’s participation in tactical urbanism_©urbandesignlab.in

 

Author

Shiwangi is a student of Architecture and a writing enthusiast. She is very keen to explore and experience the world of Architecture and discover different aspects of it to humanity as she believes in the influence of design on people and spaces.

Write A Comment