Applying a "Pop-Up" Approach to the Planning Process Itself

Tactical urbanism is transforming cityscapes around the world, but what would it mean to apply a "pop-up" approach to the planning process? A recent project in Santa Monica, CA allowed participants to evaluate public realm improvements in real-time.

Amber Hawkes discusses Pop-Up MANGo, a unique "festival/workshop/installation" that fused the idea of pilot and pop-up with the planning process itself. Held in Santa Monica on a Saturday in September, Pop-Up MANGo – named after the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway – "showcased temporary installations of possible improvements for a new Greenway corridor such as: traffic calming devices, traffic circles, chicanes, curb extensions, enhanced landscaping, mini-parks, and places for neighbors to gather."

"The PopUp MANGo event was light hearted and community-oriented with local musicians, food trucks, booths with local organizations, arts activities for children, and a ‘passport’ program that guided people through the installations and gauged feedback," explains Hawkes. Although the event was organized to maximize fun, it had a serious aim – to "liven up the planning process" and elicit community ideas and feedback in a more creative way than the traditional workshop setting. 

"The beauty of ‘PopUp Planning’ is that you can get a ton of people to participate in the planning process and it can be a lot more rewarding than traditional processes since participants can see and feel improvements first hand," writes Hawkes.

Full Story: Pop-Up Planning: New Methods for Transforming the Public Process

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