Mike Lydon, principal of the Street Plans Collaborative and co-author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action, Long-Term Change led a community conversation in Chester and returned for a special build workshop held in the Chester Made Makerspace.
In April 2017, Lydon introduced community members to tactical urbanism and provided an opportunity for them to think about projects that could take place in areas needing improvement such as parks, crosswalks, bus stops, etc. In addition to participating in a walking tour of Overtown to discuss possible projects, community members learned about a special opportunity for funding for small tactical urbanism projects.
Then in May, Lydon returned to “Chester for Creating Spaces Together: Tactical Urbanism in Action.” He spoke about what makes tactical urbanism so effective in creating a lasting impact in areas where residents envision revitalization. Community members presented about tactical urbanism projects they have initiated, including a vibrant vertical herb garden and plans for the cleanup and beautification of a local park.
Following the presentations, participants discussed possibilities for future projects and worked together to develop plans that would make the most out of funds, resources, and people-power available for these types of endeavors.
The workshop ended with a planter-building workshop held in the Chester Made Makerspace facilitated by Devon Walls of The Artist Warehouse. Participants collaboratively designed, prepared materials for, and built two planters, which now live on the 500 block of Avenue of the States to represent this experience and spread the news about Tactical Urbanism in action in Chester!
"What was most important was fresh information and sincere collaboration. Chester residents are more than willing to contribute. I'd love to see more youth involvement and attraction, and more community outreach to get more involvement." --TU workshop participant
"The best thing is being able to do something more to my workspace than sweeping. I learned how to beautify my hood with very little money and lots of partnering up." --TU workshop participant
The conversations and creations that came out of this workshop are essential as we continue to move forward with short-term action that leads to long-term change in the city of Chester.