It just got its name a few years ago, but there’s nothing about tactical urbanism that’s totally new.
The idea is simple: cheap, small, often temporary improvements to urban environments that make certain areas more lively, with little risk and potentially big reward.
That might mean a private citizen illegally paints a crosswalk in front of her home to slow down traffic. It might mean a city turns a parking lot in the center of its crown jewel park into an inviting plaza by repainting it and adding trees, chairs, tables and umbrellas.
It’s a way of thinking, more than anything, said Mike Lydon, who wrote the first guidebook on the concept three years ago and now travels the world implementing projects with an impact bigger than their physical size.