Placemaking. Tactical Urbanism. Popup Projects.
Call it what you want, but revitalizing abandoned and underutilized spaces into lively public spaces (quickly and cheaply) is a worldwide movement. New York City embraced a pedestrianized Times Square filled with chairs and tables. San Francisco kick-started the parklet craze, which fueled PARKing Day.
Cities and small towns are painting murals, turning empty lots into public plazas and temporary art exhibits, and even jazzing up bus stops.
Here too, Popups are taking hold. Central Atlanta Progress created a popup shops program along the new streetcar line. MARTA will use temporary installations to demonstrate station improvements at Garnett and Five Points stations. Denizens across the Atlanta region are taking on community projects in their own backyards.
And at PEDS, we’re working with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and other partners to bring more popup projects to the city through events like Atlanta Streets Alive. At the April Streets Alive event in the West End, local artists and volunteers helped install temporary pedestrian signage, crosswalk chalk art, creative bus stop seating, and popup bike lanes on Lee Street.
Building a lively streetscape is an important piece of the Atlanta walkability puzzle. Atlanta has a relative lack of public open space and abundant vacant lots. We are ripe for creative placemaking.
Want to learn more?
Read a recap of tips from the June 17 webinar “From Popups to Permanent”, hosted by the Alliance for Walking and Biking. I participated as a panelist and discussed PEDS work and efforts by partner organizations to creatively transform our streets.
These tactics are cheap, fast, fun, and can change how we interact with our city. But effective implementation requires volunteers. Contact us to participate in future Atlanta Streets Alive efforts, and we’ll transform our streets together.