Monday, September 17, 2012

Funnertime in the city

From guerrilla urbanism such as Matt Tomasulo's Walk Raleigh project, to International PARK(ing) Day, in which people take over a parking place and transform it into an instant park, to this experiment at a London bus stop (be sure to click that link and watch the video; it's charming), the idea is clear: Make cities more fun.

Call it tactical urbanism, or guerrilla urbanism, or just call it a fad. But it's bringing a welcome touch of whimsy and creativity to the urban design field. Ideas are popping up all over the world, with help from social media.

So, has whimsy-challenged Charlotte gotten into the act?  If UNC Charlotte urban design student Keihly Moore gets here way, the city will. She's organizing a PARK(ing) Day event in Charlotte for Friday.  Disclosure: Keihly is my graduate assistant at, and is a master's student in urban design and architecture (dual degree) at UNC Charlotte. She also writes for the PlanCharlotte website.

With approval from the city's Department of Transportation, Keihly and collaborators with the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture and the Charlotte Urban Farm Project will take a few spots in South End on Camden Road near Park Avenue where the Food Truck Fridays event is held and convert them, temporarily, to a park. Here's her diagram.


She plans sidewalk-chalk activities, among other things. Read more about it by clicking on this link. It's all volunteer-led, with no budget to speak of. If you're interested in helping, you can email Keihly (it's pronounced KEE-lee.)

If you know of more tactical urbanism maybe we should call them Random Acts of Urbanism? let me know.