Spring 2016

This is a student-initiated course offered by Prof. Patricia Wilson.  It was planned over the summer and fall of 2015 by CRP graduate students Karen Peris, Vanessa Mendez, and CRP graduate Sophia Brenner, who will be a lecturer in this course. The course is a response to the growing interest in Tactical Urbanism and its insights for planners.
The method of Tactical Urbanism is a way to make long term changes in a community with quick, inexpensive interventions. As the new generation of planners, we need to bring fresh ideas that are appropriate for the 21st century. The cities of today are full of energetic young citizens who want to see their city improve but won’t wait years for results. The study of this form of public participation expands the ways in which we are able to communicate with communities.


The class will explore the development of Tactical Urbanism in theory and in practice. Students will understand the roots and theory that undergird the topic such as place making, politics of space, and the Milennial generation’s involvement in cities. We will explore how these ideas translate into public participation methods through examining and critiquing case studies from different cities. Then, we will apply what we have learned to a real project designed and created by the class. Through this course, students will identify urban challenges in their everyday life and translate those objectives into a creative process for involvement by applying history and theory to contemporary issues to be addressed by tactical urbanism.
This new course is offered with a credit/no-credit option.  To get credit the student must:

  • Look critically at each other’s work.
  • Be creative and innovative.
  • Be prepared.
  • Design a presentation and guide discussion about one case study for the class.
  • Consistently post updates on the class blog.
  • Work as a group to design and test a Tactical Urbanism intervention and document the design, goals, risks, and results.

Active participation and attendance is expected in all class sessions.  Outside of class, students should be looking for small intervention opportunities in their everyday life.


The class is aimed at students of CRP, architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture, but all graduate students are eligible to register. The class limit for the seminar is 15.