June 9th, 2015

Some Thoughts on Tactical Urbanism

by Andrew Christenberry

tactical urbanism


Tactical Urbanism– an umbrella term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually cities, intended to improve local neighborhoods and city gathering places.

Earlier this year the grassroots phenomenon known “tactical urbanism” was captured in the print of a how-to guide for urban transformation by two founders of this movement, Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia. In their book called Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-Term Change, Lydon and Garcia discuss how short-term, community-based projects such as pop-up parks and “yarn-bombing” have become a powerful and adaptable new tool for urban activists who are seeking to initiate lasting improvements in their cities.


This book offers a look into the history of the tactical urbanism movement, it moves through the inspirations and antecedents of the movement, and ends with a how-to guide. In an interview with CityLab, the two authors explained, “For every one of these tactics that’s in here, you probably have several failed versions, but when you hit a nerve at the right time with the right group of people and you have enough people watching, you can really help transition these things into larger initiatives.”

If you get the chance, pick up a copy of Lydon and Garcia’s book Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-Term Change, and start dreaming up ways to catalyze the change you want to see in your own neighborhood. With Tactical Urbanism, the sky’s the limit.