48x48x48 Tactical Urbanism Action Plan | Oyster Bay, NY

Type: Tactical Urbanism Action Plan

Size: One Block

Status: Complete

A myriad of interrelated challenges currently face Long Island’s suburbs. From smart growth zoning obstacles, to a lack of infrastructure investment, to brain drain, the solutions require an immense amount of regional coordination. 48x48x48 is a replicable, community building process targeting opportunity areas at three time scales: hours, weeks, and months. Inspired by the inefficiency of conventional planning and implementation processes, 48x48x48 emphasizes immediate action through cooperative community participation. Alongside DoTank, Street Plans worked with the Oyster Bay Main Street Association to empower local residents to restructure the way they understand the social and physical fabric of their community. 
The 48x48x48 process targeted Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay’s civic heart, to demonstrate that meaningful change need not cost millions of dollars. During the 48-hour intervention, held on June 12th and 13th 2010, the team created two “pop-up” stores in vacant spaces, organized local workshops and classes held by local businesses and organizations, attracted mobile food vendors and a farmers’ market, and took steps towards creating permanent regional attractions, such as the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. 
An immediate result of the 48x48x48 process is that the pop-up Farmers’ market – the first ever in downtown Oyster Bay – became permanent within a month. Two vacant storefronts were leased soon thereafter, and resident Billy Joel, who attended the action planning event, decided to renovate and lease the largest of vacant buildings for his antique motorcycle collection, which has become a regional attraction. According to the Main Street Association, the economic impact of the 48x48x48 process is an estimated $1 million dollars.