Islington Street Demonstration Projects | Portsmouth, NH


Type: Tactical Urbanism Demonstration Project

Size: 1 intersection, with treatments on the surrounding blocks 

Status: Complete

This project was a part of a larger series of events with the City of Portsmouth, NH, called the Islington Street Lab Project. The City hired Street Plans to lead the multi-part event, with the goal of engaging the community in brainstorming and creating a unique project in the West End of Portsmouth.

First, Street Plans facilitated a design workshop on May 12, 2016 at Portsmouth City Hall to explore ideas for the re-imagination of the West End, and get them on paper. Less than a month later, Street Plans returned to deliver a presentation to the public on Tactical Urbanism, sharing how low-cost, short-term community-based projects have become powerful and adaptable tools for re-imagining streets and public spaces. Directly following the presentation, Street Plans led about 20 volunteers in installing the Islington Street Lab Project, which involved: 

  • 6 new crosswalks;
  • 2 curb extensions;
  • Pop-up landscaping using over 3 dozen plants;
  • Sharrow markings;
  • One parklet and bike corral; and 
  • Striping to define 3 new on-street parking spots.

The pop-up installation was accomplished with a budget of less than $2,000, which included the police staffing and traffic control during project set-up and take-down. The demonstration project remained in place for a week, which enabled community members to observe the changes and provide feedback to the City.

Given the success of the four day demonstration project, the City of Portsmouth decided to install and test many of the design elements for 30 days to inform longer term plans for the corridor.

Watch the video describing the demonstration projects and read the report made by PS21.