Tactical Urban Resilience

Tactical Urban Resilience is an approach to neighborhood building for cities looking to collaborate with key citizen, community, and/or stakeholders in the testing and delivery of resilience solutions that uses short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions.

Tool Overview

Tactical Urban Resilience is an approach to neighborhood building for cities looking to collaborate with key citizen, community, and/or stakeholders in the testing and delivery of resilience solutions that uses short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions that respond to transportation, public space, and public engagement challenges to catalyze long term change.

Tactical Urban Resilience was developed in partnership with Street Plans Collaborative for cities in the 100RC network. The methodology is a resilience adaptation of the Tactical Urbanism approach to neighborhood building and public space development.

Tactical Resilience interventions help communities come up with creative, low-cost, and scalable approaches to move resilience initiatives from paper to pavement. Outputs from the workshops include an approach for small-scale demonstration projects and a summary report containing lessons learned and priority recommendations.

Tactical Resilience encourages people to work together in new ways, strengthening relationships between residents, local organizations, and government agencies. It also allows people to re-imagine how streets and public spaces could be used. Through this, cities are able to widen public engagement and gather data from the real-world users of streets and other public spaces.

This tool allows for the opportunity to test aspects of a program, project or plan before making a large political or financial investments. It also expedites project implementation and deliver public benefits faster.

Tactical Urban Resilience creates an opportunity for stakeholders to learn about, and then deliver short-term change in neighborhoods. The “learn by doing” approach embeds resilience-building concepts and opportunities at the lot, block, and neighborhood scale, ultimately positioning city and citizens to deliver long-term transformation together.

Case Study: Norfolk

The City of Norfolk used Tactical Urban Resilience to organize a “Retain your Rain” workshop on June 4, 2016. Fifty community and city leaders from the Neon District, and the Ghent and Chesterfield neighborhoods of Norfolk were in attendance at the workshop, which demonstrated how property owners, both business and residential, can help alleviate rainwater flooding in the city by building small flood mitigation projects to hold water on their property, thereby slowing down rain runoff and preventing flooding. 

With the City, workshop participants helped install four rain barrels, one rain garden, and planted a de-paved sidewalk for landscaping/water retention. 100RC Platform Partners ioby and AMEC Foster Wheeler also supported the event by providing key subject matter expertise on storm water management techniques.

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Case Study: Sante Fe

After the release of its Resilience Strategy, the City of Santa Fe, Argentina engaged Tactical Urban Resilience on their “Parque del Norte: a Pilot Green–Blue Infrastructure” initiative that aims to foster orderly urban growth and develop projects in order to improve residents’ quality of life. The Parque del Norte Project involves recovering and revitalizing 80 hectares of land formerly used as a landfill site, the municipal Botanical Garden, and several derelict green spaces. It is also a comprehensive public-space management experience that takes into account environmental and residential aspects, and blue and green infrastructure efforts. The City convened stakeholders with an interest in the Park including several government agencies, neighbors of the park, church groups, local chambers of commerce, youth groups,  and NGOs to identify key locations within the park to demonstrate how such features could be integrated to create spaces of citizen integration, where the residents meet and have other ways of enjoying the city.  The City engaged several students from local schools and the Municipality’s council of children to document the workshop and refine the results into a demonstration plan which was subsequently implemented with a demonstration project where participants redesigned a park entrance with murals and painted crosswalks, designed benches, painted unused tire flower pots, created sawdust paths, along with awareness campaigns for recycling and good behavior.

Key Facts

Project Phase: Tactical Urban Resilience can be applied at various project stages including: Project definition, Detailed Design, and Execution.

Scale: Varies

Format: Varies widely, may include a workshop, demonstration, pilot, etc.

Key Participants: Public (community users), government, community based organizations

Outputs: Varies- may include small-scale demonstration projects, a summary report that contains lessons learned and policy recommendations.

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