Mobility explained: Tactical Urbanism

I’m going to try to introduce different terms here to bring insights and knowledge for all Telraam Talks members. Some of these will be familiar to you, some may not. I hope we can all learn from them, and if you have more to add, PLEASE do add your thoughts in the discussion below.

Tactical Urbanism


I liked this explanation, since it includes not only some of the actions, but also the support required to be successful

Tactical urbanism refers to a series of urban design trends with specific features. It involves initiatives designed to significantly renew urban spaces, fostering the local interests of a neighbourhood or community and seeking to add value to public services.

The features of tactical urbanism can be summarized as follows:

  • It is greatly supported by the local population and is the result of citizen engagement processes.
  • It does not aspire to achieve major urban feats, instead it focuses on small-scale, practical and quick initiatives.
  • It also entails low execution costs.
  • It does not tend to change existing infrastructures. One of its principles is to reuse existing urban structures and spaces.
  • In this regard, it aims to raise the standards of sustainability in the city.
  • Although it is originally based on a genuine citizen-led initiative, it may or may not be supported by local institutions.
    (from Tomorrow.City)


Have you heard the term “tactical urbanism”? It might sound like it has to do with military manoeuvres, but really it’s just the concept of citizens taking more control over their urban environment, especially when it comes to traffic.

Essentially, tactical urbanism is making small, temporary changes to the streets in your neighbourhood in order to test out ideas and see what works best. It’s a way for residents to take charge and make their own solutions, without having to wait for a long bureaucratic process or a ton of funding to make something happen.

Early examples include a group of neighbours in San Francisco who came together to install a “parklet” - a mini-park in a parking spot - to see if it would encourage people to spend more time outside and on the street. In New York City, residents used paint and planters to turn a busy street into a pedestrian-friendly plaza. These are just a few examples, but there are many more out there!

The great thing about tactical urbanism is that it’s quick, cheap, and easy. It’s a way for you to take control of your own streets and make a difference in your community.

Have you given it a try in your own neighbourhood? Did you get together with some neighbours and brainstorm ideas for how you can make your streets safer and more liveable? Maybe you already have achieved something? Tell us your ideas and your stories.

For more information, check this great page out:


if you know of alternative terms or names for this description, please let me know

NL: tactische stedenbouw
FR: urbanisme tactique
DE: taktischen Urbanismus
ES: urbanismo táctico
PT: urbanismo tático

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