The DIY public space movement is growing up. So what have we learned? On March 22, 2017, we joined 5th Square to host A Tactical Urbanism Guide to exchange insights on starting & scaling small neighborhood projects in cities, inspired by the new book from Street Plans Collaborative.
To a sold-out hall at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, a stellar line-up of neighborhood lovers & leaders from Philly & New York shared their stories, tips & lessons learned. Wanna hear what they had to say? Video below. And one of our favorite excerpts below that.
Big thanks to our hosts & presenters:
- Jon Geeting, 5th Square
- Michelle Freeman & Jermaine Jenkins, Witty Gritty
- Akeem Dixon, New Kensington CDC
- Lauren Vidas, SOSNA
- Emaleigh Doley, Germantown United CDC
- Justin DiBerardinis, Bartram’s Garden
- David Weinberger, IOBY
- Mike Lydon, Street Plans Collaborative (who joined us virtually!)
And much gratitude to Knight Foundation for their support.
"I think when we talk about Tactical Urbanism, we shouldn't get so lost in the tactic that we forget what the urbanism means. Let's not talk about the "how" and lose focus on the "why." What is your urbanism? What are we building?
For a lot of people, it means play space for the hip or the affluent. That's what a lot of urbanism can mean & look like, right? It doesn't have to be.
It can be the place & program that challenges inequity in our city, that challenges & attacks the architecture of segregation that defines so much of our public space. The formal, regulatory city creates that, right? Space for some people over here, space for others over there. It's easier to manage if we kind of keep everyone in their own place. It's *hard* to put things together. It's challenging.
So that's the justification for breaking the rules. We don't just get to break the rules because we can. If you do the *right* thing, than you *can* break the rules. That's the reason you broke the rules, because the rules didn't allow the right things to happen.
You still might get shut down, but break the rules because it is right. And think about the space you're trying to achieve. How is it going to work for the people with the *least* access? That's your starting point. Then your "inclusion" is that everyone else can come, too."
—Justin DiBerardinis, Bartram's Garden
Interested in more conversations about the city?
The Urban Consulate is a network of parlors for urban exchange. For future events in Detroit, Philadelphia & New Orleans, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and check out our event listings here.