Tactical Urbanism Takes Reno by Storm
Some cities, no matter how vibrant they are, don't want to hear much from outsiders. Not Reno, Nevada. The city's economic development authority made an aggressive pitch to attract Next City's 2015 Vanguard Conference in part so it could welcome the creativity and fresh ideas of the conference's fellows.
Reno got what it wanted.
In a combination consulting project/design studio, six teams fanned out across Reno for two days to consider ways that the principles of tactical urbanism could be used to complement ongoing efforts to revitalize the city and upgrade its urban environment. Of the two winning projects, one suggests an art project and street festival inspired by Burning Man; the other invites residents and visitors alike to leave their mark in spray paint on a series of downtown plazas. A crowd of over 200 locals gathered to hear ideas and consider ways to implement these visions.
“Sometimes you have to step out of your box to see a different perspective,” says jury member Fred Turnier, who is Reno’s community development director. “It’s good for people to come from the outside to give an assessment. To reaffirm what we’re doing well or point out some changes that need to occur.”
"Whether the city and local activists implement one or all of the proposals of the Big Idea Challenge, Reno’s rough edges will not disappear in a puff of smoke. But Vanguards were genuinely enthusiastic about the city, and the feeling from many locals is mutual."