Citizen activists in São Paulo planned their DIY crosswalk-painting for a time when the streets were sure to be empty—during the World Cup.
By Erin Weaver
The Street Plans Collaborative has released the second volume of “Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action, Long-Term Change.”
Two dozen case studies illustrate the process of small-scale, often self-funded improvements to a street or public area, and ways in which they lead to permanent change. Among the case studies are examples of “chair bombing” (building chairs from waste wood for distribution in public spaces) and “setback reclamation” (making use of the distance mandated between homes and sidewalks, which tends to limit social activity to the back yard).
Usually unsanctioned at first, tactics such as “guerrilla” crosswalks or bike lanes demonstrate a community’s desire for a given improvement and provide an affordable means of proving viability. Increasingly, says the publication, municipalities are permanently implementing activists’ low-budget improvements. For more information, see www.streetplans.org.