Halloween Costumes for Urban Planners - 4th Edition

The fourth edition of our comprehensive list of amazing Halloween costumes for urban planners.

3 minute read

October 30, 2014, 2:00 PM PDT

By Maayan Dembo @DJ_Mayjahn


Halloween Fire Fighter

North Charleston / Flickr

It's the day before Halloween, and you still do not have a costume. Perhaps you were too busy caring for your children's or involved in your city's latest charrette session. Do not fret, our dearest and most attractive reader, that is why the lovely people here at Planetizen have been brainstorming fantastic costume ideas for you to look great, have fun, and show off your burgeoning intellect! Here is the fourth edition of our comprehensive list of Halloween costumes for urban planners.

Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Do you live in a state experiencing severe drought? Do you want to inform people it takes about 226,300 gallons of water a year to maintain a 1,000 ft sq lawn? Grab your least favorite hat, tack a strong wooden board on it, and pepper it with some drought-tolerant succulents, grasses, and flowers. Dress in all brown or dark green and spread the knowledge!

Farmers' Market
These days farmers' markets are not just selling you run of the mill produce, but they also offer artisan cheese, crepes, and even gravy. This Halloween, fight the 2,000-mile salad and dress up as your local farmers market! Grab your favorite items and pin/stick them onto your body or undershirt. Bonus if you snack or offer snacks to partygoers throughout the night. A practical and fun costume.

HOT/HOV Lanes
For the transportation engineers out there. For High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane, wear all black and place a white duct tape diamond over your chest. To be a High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lane, do the same, and include a flip board sign to model demand-based congestion pricing. Throughout the night, flip the numbers around for a cheaper or more expensive ride based on travel demand.

Raised Bikeway
Make a heavy, green stripe along a black outfit, and make sure to add extra layers of colored tape alongside it to make this a safe and easy to use raised bikeway. Add a bicycling icon to notify cyclists this lane is especially designated for them.

Bikeshare System
Many urbanists are starting to believe that any self-respecting city must have a bike-sharing system. So, why not use Halloween as an occasion to celebrate one of your favorite systems? Dress in the colors of the system and print/draw the logo onto your shirt. Grab your bicycle basket and use it to carry all of the candy and compliments you will undoubtedly receive throughout the night. You can even charge people $9.95 for 24-hour riding access (fares vary by location).

Bicycle Network
Does your city have a bicycle network? Most do, even if it is shamefully not built out, yet. Use your body as a map of the city and chart out where the different Class I (bike path), Class II (bike lane), and Class III (sharrows) bike ways exist. Take the opportunity to also add dashed lines where you would like to see the network expand in the future. Remember to wear a helmet.

Subway Map
Pick your favorite most transit-accessible city for a real challenge with this costume. Using string, yarn, or pipe-cleaners, create a subway map, complete with local or express stops and transfer stations, on your body. Make sure to use color-correct material, otherwise people reading your map may get lost in a spooky part of town on Halloween night. Some robust example systems for the enthusiastic: New York City, London, Moscow, Copenhagen, or Montreal.

Public Transportation Pass/Card
Pick your favorite and most elegantly designed public transportation pass, and dress up like it. Use the same base colors in your outfit, and add pizzazz through paint, yarn, or cutouts. Bonus points if you intermittently beep throughout the night as you ride public transit. Have your partner be the respective subway map for a super-nerdy Halloween adventure!

Alright folks, if you made it this far in the article, pat yourself on the back and get ready for a fantastic Halloween with your amazing urban planning related costume! If this was not enough creativity for you, check out the first, second, and third editions of this Halloween-related list to find many more guaranteed-to-start-a-party urban planning costumes!


Maayan Dembo

Ma'ayan Dembo is an excellent writer with an eye for transportation, affordable housing, technology, and building community. She brings her experience contributing and managing a student-run blog and community radio station, and volunteering at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to Planetizen. She is a recent graduate of Stanford University's Program on Urban Studies, with a focus in Urban Society and Social Change. Ma'ayan enjoys biking, hiking, and listening to music.

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