What is ‘Tactical Urbanism’ and how could it be used in Sandwell?

What is ‘Tactical Urbanism’ and how could it be used in Sandwell?

Join us for a special virtual workshop that looks at how tactical urbanism, which is a form of low cost urban planning, can be a resource to connect with where we live and us as citizens post covid-19 pandemic. We will go into detail about what it is, how we can practically use it, what is good practice, alongside a series of practical and participative activities that help us to identify citizen-led opportunities and new project ideas.

Now is the time for tactical urbanism!

The Covid-19 Pandemic has deprived us all of access to the public spaces that were once a normal part of our daily lives. It’s fair to say many of us now see these places in a new light. Being stuck inside all day has made us realise how important they actually are to our health and wellbeing.

Now is the perfect time to come together as communities, reconnect with our places and push to improve them. After what we’ve been through, we all deserve our neighbourhoods to be better than they ever were.

Tactical urbanism is a form of placemaking that includes low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually instigated by community activists. It is almost always a grassroots initiative, basically taking a place that could seem a bit rundown or underused, and doing something exciting to utilize or renovate the space. For example, turning an unused pathway into a small garden or cycle lane; creating pop-up eatery places or street food events; or turning an abandoned green space into a public park.

Our Workshop

Sandwell Council has collaborated with New Union to offer this FREE ‘Tactical Urbanism’ workshop, as part of their Rethink Re:Place Festival. The festival will take place between 22nd-28th February 2021. It will celebrate all things tactical urbanism and seeks to make it user-friendly and accessible. It hopes to inspire and empower people to change their neighbourhoods for the better in the wake of Covid-19.

The festival will feature virtual workshops, blogs, interviews with interesting placemakers and activists, and even a policy hackathon. We would love to invite you to sign up to take part in a special workshop for Sandwell Council, at 1pm-2:30pm, Wednesday 24th, which will take place on Zoom (you will be sent a link).

What will the workshop cover?

The workshop will make use of New Union’s Community-focused Tactical Urbanism Toolkit and will cover the following:

● What tactical urbanism is in easy to understand language.

● How tactical urbanism relates to placemaking more generally.

● How tactical urbanism can be used to bring people together.

● How tactical urbanism can be used as a storytelling activity for communities.

● Examples of inspiring tactical urbanism projects from around the world, including those that have effectively used storytelling.

As well as providing this information, the workshop will feature 3 interactive group activities designed to get participants talking about their community places and the changes they would like to see in them, and to inspire ideas for implementing tactical urbanism in your community. These will cover the following:

● What makes our community unique?

● Placemaking on a budget

● Community cohesion

Why should you take part?

“How do you think tactical urbanism could be used to improve Sandwell?” This could be an excellent opportunity to share your ideas and receive some feedback from others. This could even help you to get the ball rolling on your own tactical urbanism project in our borough.

The workshop is ultimately designed to be used as a tool to engage residents from the local community in discussions around placemaking in their area. So, taking part could provide some useful activities that you could then implement in your own community-based workshops going forward.

“Are you ready to sign up and take part?” Register your interest by signing up via Eventbrite, here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141050996327

(Blog written by Alex Robinson of New Union)

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