Tactical urbanism is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places.
Capitalism, Consumerism, and Auto Culture.
They all have at least one thing in common.
Not just any people, these organizations are made up of people who get to decide, for us, what best suites the majority of people. If it doesn’t serve their bottom line of profit or enhance consumption, then it isn’t in their best interests and they will not pursue it, even if it means some people will suffer for their inaction.
That’s fine if we are talking about window dressing or paint color. But when people have the potential to be hurt by their inaction it is time to take action.
Priority and safety is the focus of moving auto’s from point A to point B. This is a huge financial drain on us and on our cities. Worse, those who directly benefit from increased auto use are the people who operate auto corporations, not the people driving on the street.
Street lights help people feel safe and that this is a direct benefit to the user. No one wants to jog along a dark street. Better street lighting encourages nighttime driving. Well lit streets give a community a feeling of ease and a sense of safety. Though there are some studies which show that increased lighting on well paved area’s doesn’t increase safety. But tell that to someone fumbling around in a dark parking lot or trying to make out street signs as they look for their friends house at 2 a.m.
Trails which move people on foot, bike, or wheelchair do not see the same safety measures given to those systems which have the greatest benefit to auto’s and those who directly benefit from selling you an auto. The real problem, as I see it, is incomplete or one sided education of our urban planners. People who don’t use the very trails they design or if they do use it, they don’t use it in the way that those most vulnerable are using the trails. Mainly during low light conditions. Students, working families, and/or anyone else who is tied up with the day to day cares of this world have the evening to enjoy the trails. Early morning commuters who want to enjoy a stress free commute, deserve quality trails. So why should they be left to stumble around in the dark?
When you have exhausted every avenue available to you. When your words fall on deaf ears. What is there left to do?
Shall we fold our hands and say “At least I tried.”
Did you try?
Is it possible that there is something more you can do?
Enter Tactical Urbanism.
Creating safer communities through direct involvement.
When you’ve been told that the cost of installing lighting along the trail is too expensive. Or you’ve been told that it just isn’t feasible. What you are really hearing is “Your concerns are not important.”
But your concerns are important. You as an individual are important, both to yourself and to someone else. Taking a positive step to help those in your community is an act which is both selfless and selfish. By taking an active part in your community you are bettering it not only for yourself but for all of those around you.
Sometimes our city planners need us to show them the way. It’s not that they can’t figure it out. It’s that they don’t have the motivation to do the research that we have done.
Tactical Urbanism is one positive and friendly way to show them just how easy it is to install some lights.
I highly encourage you to take an active role in the betterment of your community. You can learn more about tactical urbanism from the original creators through this link: Here.