I’m still trying to get dug out from my whirlwind experience in Middlesborough, Kentucky, this weekend as part of the Better Block Boro event. But to start with, I wanted to share with you this video with Mike Lydon, of Street Plans Collaborative. Mike was helping Middlesborough’s volunteers with a series of “tactical interventions,” and this parklet (which was constructed a few days before the actual event) was one of them. In this video, Mike explains some of the economic benefits as well — benefits that, strangely enough, outstripped the sacred value of the Parking Space Right In Front Of My Door! If you deal with downtown property owners, you know how much gets wrapped up in that, but the parklet experience here and elsewhere sez otherwise.
I’d seen stuff on tactical urbanism before, but I’d never had a chance to see it at work on the scale they were working it in Middlesborough. I’m thinking now about how we might apply the principles of this approach — light, cheap, fast, imperfect but progress — to economic development and other aspects of community revitalization. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, here’s Mike!