Canadian Officials See Long-Term Threat from Short-Term Urbanism

A series of tactical urbanist interventions inspired by a recent talk given by Mike Lydon, Principal of the Street Plans Collaborative, have raised the ire of the powers that be in the Canadian city of Hamilton.

Guerrilla traffic calming measures such as painted crosswalks and bumpout pylons, "drew an aggressive response from the City’s general manager of Public Works, Gerry Davis, who reported the incidents to the police and issued a memo to Council calling the actions 'illegal, potentially unsafe' and 'vandalism'," says a report in Spacing. "City workers removed the installations."

"Of course, left unmentioned is the ongoing danger to individuals and liability to the city from Hamilton's status quo of pedestrian- and cyclist-unfriendly automobile oriented streets, a shameful legacy that has continued unimpeded for decades despite the overwhelming weight of evidence, expert testimonial, and even official policy," argues Ryan McGreal, who wrote about the city's response to the interventions for Raise the Hammer.

"Tactical urbanism is not the problem here," he continues. "It is the symptom of a deeper problem in which the city's stated commitment to citizen engagement, innovation, diverse economic opportunities and being 'the best place to raise a child' are not really governing principles but are only words on paper."

Full Story: City Crackdown on Tactical Urbanism

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