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The Hands-On Urbanism Movement

Mike Lydon discusses "tactical urbanism," a DIY approach to planning that is sweeping the nation, and explains how communities are making lasting impacts at the grassroots level.
June 23, 2012, 9am PDT | Emily Williams
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Brandon Klayko sat down for an interview with Mike Lydon, the author of Tactical Urbanism, Volume 2, and one of the champions of the movement that's bringing planning to the people.

Lydon explains how he first became interested in tactical urbanism in 2010, claiming that he "began noticing a lot of little things happening that were, in a lot of ways, self-funded or self-organized but having a big, longer-term impact." These grassroots approaches to urban planning, he quickly realized, were happening all over the country. Dallas' Build a Better Block holds weekend events where they perform street reclamation mock-ups, while New York's overnight public plazas became an instant success.

"What's difficult about the traditional planning process is that it's behind closed doors. It can be intimidating for people to get involved, but if you're experimenting with change in real time on the street, on your block, or on your sidewalk, people get a real understanding of what that means," states Lydon. This understanding has lead to an open dialogue which has quickly moved online, where blogs and other online resources are abounding that describe the various approaches communities all over the country are employing to reshape their streets and neighborhoods.

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Published on Monday, June 18, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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