Plus a look back at some of our favorite recent tactical urbanism installations.

In response to last week's story on the curious art or urban wayfinding, reader Andy Little pointed us to some cool guerrilla wayfinding going on in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is understandably a concept you may be even less familiar with (relative to non-guerrilla wayfinding, that is). We're not sure anyone else out there is doing this – mounting walkable direction signs around town, under cover of darkness.

In mid-January, a group calling themselves Walk Raleigh posted 27 such signs at three intersections around the city, and we hear (by reading their Facebook page), that the stunt has actually caught the eye of city officials who may look to make the signs permanent. This is tactical urbanism at its best: a fly-by-night citizen-led escapade whose whimsy could ultimately prompt real improvements to city amenities. So, kudos to these brave urban guerrillas (whom we assume traveled by foot in between installations):

... and the wayfinding they've left behind:

This got us thinking about some of our other favorite tactical urbanism capers: yarn bombing, chair bombing – and guerrilla gardening, of course. So we offer this collection of playful, very small-scale urban projects to give you something truly productive to ponder at the beginning of another work week:

Flickr/jorgevr

That's a guerrilla garden, in a used tire, taken last year. Below is a little guerrilla gardening from the folks at Occupy Oakland:

Flickr/@bastique

Italy apparently has a Guerrilla Gardening Day, from which this beautiful image comes, last November:

Flickr/OggiScienza

In an entirely different medium, we have several guerrillas working in textile. This image, from the summer of 2009, comes from a project that transformed 69 parking meters on Montague Street in Brooklyn as part of the business improvement district there.

Flickr/nycstreets

This one, we suspect, was more of an outlier, from Sacramento, California:

Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

In the realm of more practical amenities, we have an impromptu bus stop chair from Orlando, tactically placed in 2010:

Flickr/strfsh

Which brings us to the ultimate urban transportation makeover, pop-up parks in parking spots, courtesy of the annual Park(ing) Day. These images present two different approaches to the micro-park – for the active, and the loafer – both from Oakland:

Flickr/Greenbelt Alliance

Neighborhoods need a lot of other things – grocery stores, community centers, political capital – that are harder to throw together overnight. But there's tactical urbanism for those ambitions, too. We leave you with these images from the "I wish this was..." project that started more than a year ago in New Orleans:

iwishthiswas.cc

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  2. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

  3. an aerial view of Los Angeles shows the complex of freeways, new construction, familiar landmarks, and smog in 1962.
    Transportation

    The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

    The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

  4. An illustration of a turtle with a city on its shell
    Transportation

    Why Speed Kills Cities

    U.S. cities are dropping urban speed limits in an effort to boost safety and lower crash rates. But the benefits of less-rapid urban mobility don’t end there.  

  5. Berlin's Friedrichstrasse will test a car ban starting in October 2019.
    Transportation

    Why Berlin’s Approach to Car Bans Is a Little Different

    The German capital will experiment with banning cars on two popular retail streets—but it’s being notably more cautious than its European counterparts.

×