Re-think the City: Tactical urbanism toolkit for cities post-COVID-19

Rethink Re:Place is a New Union project that makes place-making user-friendly by offering training opportunities and upskilling techniques. The toolkit serves as a support and toolbox for all municipalities, associations, planners on how to design the post-COVID-19-city and engage the community through Tactical Urbanism.

How to engage a community, re-connect people to place and build resilience? A question that is currently even more important in the face of the coronavirus crisis. Tactical urbanism, for example, is an innovative approach to transform public space and engage community. Through low-cost, temporary changes to a built environment, tactical urbanism creates greater sense of place in local neighbourhoods and city. New Union, a UK-based not-for-profit civic innovation organization, provides a toolkit, that is free and opensource, and includes all the materials you need to run your own tactical urbanism training workshop. The toolkit makes tactical urbanism accessible to all, encouraging participation through hands-on activities. The in-depth guide to the workshop means anyone from any area of expertise can facilitate the workshop. To download the toolkit, visit: www.new-union.org/rethinkreplace.html

The toolkit is based on the Rethink Re:Place festival, that was run in February 2021 by UK based volunteer activists to inspire people to think differently about how change can be made in urban space and to catalyse conversations around the opportunities of tactical urbanism for cities post-COVID-19. More than 100 people over five continents were involved in the festival, including urban planners and designers, city councillors, policy officers, activists, and university students.

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Tactical Urbanism: hands-on influence

Organised by New Union, Director Nathan Coyle explained: “We had no intention of trying to find funding for the festival as we wanted it to be 100 per cent organically created and facilitated by activists who are passionate about the community having a hands-on influence over where they live. It was really important to us that there was a lasting legacy, that’s why we wanted to put together the toolkit so towns and cities all over the world can download and benefit from it, for no cost at all”.

According to New Union the workshop can help you if: You have community groups or Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in your area that want to learn how to improve their community spaces using a limited or non-existent budget. Or if: You want to learn how to build narratives from the activities that your community do.