Tactical Urbanism as a Tool for Equity?

Principals Tony Garcia and Mike Lydon were interviewed by Streetsblog USA on how recent events have sparked new conversations around equity in the application of the Tactical Urbanism methodology.

As pioneers of the Tactical Urbanism movement, Garcia and Lydon have long advocated for projects and quick-shift policy changes that encourage public involvement and respond to inequity in communities. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent anti-racism protests, Garcia and Lydon admit that as planners, we all must start doing better and reflect upon racial equity in our work.

Every day, planners are faced with decisions that mean the difference between safe spaces, or continued inequality and oppression. For years, decisions about land use, transportation, and the built environment have facilitated a system that is inherently unequal; where minority groups are more likely to suffer disadvantages and become over-policed. 

Lydon and Garcia are both determined to become more critical of their work and responsive to the true problems and opportunities of any given community. As a firm, we want to focus on creating walkable, bikeable urban places that are welcoming and safe for all community members and continue challenging our clients to fight for cities that work for everyone.