Have you ever heard of tactical urbanism? Tactical urbanism (aka guerrilla urbanism, pop-up urbanism, D.I.Y. urbanism, urban acupuncture) is the act of designing and implementing short-term installations to rapidly change public spaces such as streets. 

In 2020, the City of Atlanta created the first Tactical Urbanism Guide to empower Atlantans to tweak their surroundings to make them safer and more beautiful. Our CID received permits for two tactical urbanism projects: We’re working with Atlanta-based artists to paint three signal boxes in the district, and we’ll be installing a transit parklet at the intersection of Ellsworth Industrial and Huff. 

Are you interested in narrowing local streets, painting new crosswalks, creating walk-lanes in areas without sidewalks? These are just a few of the types of projects Atlanta’s Tactical Urbanism Guide coaches you on how to implement! Read more about how to bring tactical urbanism to your neighborhood on our blog. 

The City of Atlanta’s Tactical Urbanism Guide empowers either neighborhood organizations, NPUs, businesses, or non-profits to apply for tactical urbanism permits to either complete a “demonstration project” (a project which lasts only up to 30 days) or a “pilot project” (a project which can be deployed for up to one year). 

Tactical urbanism projects are low-cost, short-term installations designed to change the overall use and feel of streets and public spaces. These small-scale projects are often used to test ideas and advance longer-term goals related to safety and community-minded design. Tactical urbanism projects use nonpermanent materials to demonstrate the potential of long-term change.

Tactical urbanism projects are used to: 

  • Improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Create vibrant public spaces and encourage public life
  • Inspire action and change
  • Broaden public engagement and encourage collaboration between local communities and government
  • Test various interventions and designs and evaluate outcomes
  • Gather and analyze data from actual uses of public spaces

Decision makers like City Councilmembers can leverage the community feedback and data on the success of a tactical demonstration to seek funding for a permanent project. Thumb through the beautifully designed Tactical Urbanism Guide for inspiration for your community, grab a few willing participants, and put together your application!