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Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In the twenty-first century, cities worldwide must respond to a growing and diverse population, ever-shifting economic conditions, new technologies, and a changing climate. Short-term, community-based projects—from pop-up parks to open streets initiatives—have become a powerful and adaptable new tool of urban activists, planners, and policy-makers seeking to drive lasting ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Island Press (first published May 1st 2014)
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Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: planning
3.5 Stars. A good overview of how to try out changes and the history of many successful attempts. I think the draw back to this book is that many of the ideas are just as discoverable online. There is nothing academic or unique to the ideas in a book form. I liked the overall thrust of it and the photos are great, so I am glad to have it.

One interesting note, is the idea of the roll that Sears kit homes had in promoting tactical urbanism.
Bill H
Jan 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Just because the authors write "Tactical Urbanism" 3-5+ times per page, doesn't mean you're getting any sort of point across. There really isn't any novel or useful information to be found in this book, unfortunately.
Gillian Mann
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had to buy this book last semester for a class, that class turned out to change its whole syllabus last minute and we no longer were going to be using the book. I picked it up a couple of days ago while cleaning my bookshelf and I couldn't put it down. I think after take that class I had a better appreciation of what the book potentially could have brought to the course u see the right circumstances. This book is a great read through to understanding how and what will work to produce an ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty engaging and relatively short book about tactical urbanism. I especially liked the second half, which focused on specific case studies and then went into strategies and recommendations that local governments or community leaders could apply toward implementing their own projects. I felt that there was a little too much background info, but also considering that I already know about tactical urbanism I might be biased since this book seems more aimed toward people who haven't engaged with ...more
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Presented as a how-to guide with some example case studies, this book ended up being an extended history of the concept and nearly a dozen case studies and less-structured (but still extended) stories of various implementations of the general idea, which a bit of a how-to guide at the end. All of the parts are valuable, but the balance is a bit off--but like a bread with the wrong flour-water balance, while it's a bit dense and a little flat in the middle, it's still worth consuming.
Wes Cobb
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book lays out the guidelines for "tactical urbanism," which essentially applies the principles of a lean startup to new urbansim. I found the book fluffy and unnecessarily long at some point. Moreover, many of the "tactical" projects cited in the book were massive projects undertaken by city governments and officials. The truly "tactical" examples, though, were quite inspiring, and the guide could also be quite useful.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An overview of the tactical urbanism movement, with many useful examples and specific advice for a planning process that will help ensure results are well-received. This meaningful work is ever more important as cities recognize the importance of compact, mixed uses.
Frank Nemecek
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the unique books where 90% of what is written is repeated elsewhere and the remaining 10% is so inspiring that I cannot help but give the entire book a 5-star rating. I highly recommend this book for anyone interest in urban planning and/or economic development.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: urbanism
Tactical urbanism is a five star idea. Book is definitely targeted at someone not familiar or less familiar with the idea.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Well written
Jeff Stern
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quick weekend read. Compelling case studies of high-impact tactical urbanism projects.
February Four
Did not finish.
There were some good ideas spread throughout the book, but there was also a lot of fluff filler. Among the better ideas were using low-cost and temporary solutions to prototype designs before investing the time in approving and creating expensive interventions.
On the other hand, the book uncritically endorses illegal activity. While it cites examples here and there of where such actions turned out "okay," encouraging people to take spray-paint and redesign public streets is not generally a great
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like the idea to be "tactical". Provides examples, not much in term of quantity but deep enough to get the sense of each tactic. The book provides "how to". Good guidance from those who have done it.
Michael Lewyn
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A nice discussion of cheap, temporary improvements to city streets, such as pedestrian plazas and miniature parks.
Torgeir Haugstulen
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May 24, 2015
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Apr 17, 2017
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“Tactical Urbanism is pure American know-how. It is the common sense that housed, fed, and prospered an entire continent of penniless immigrants.” 0 likes
“Tactical Urbanism enables people to not only envision change but to help create it.” 0 likes
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