COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Transforming Public Spaces though Creative Intervention

Jeb Polstein
Jun 24, 2019
Jun 24, 2019

When cities are built by systems beyond the control of most inhabitants, change is hard. But communities around the world are breaking through these systems by embracing fun, fast-acting interventions that eventually bring long-term improvements. Around the world, intrepid actors have created events, installations, and permanent spaces that call attention to issues and offer creative solutions. Project for Public Spaces describes this work as Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (others have called it tactical urbanism).

The following are additions to a growing collection of LQC case studies at Project for Public Spaces. While varied in their geographies, demographics, and time scales, the projects are united in their emphasis on bringing people together to immediately multiply the benefits of public spaces. They show that quick bursts can add up to larger change.

1. Malón Urbano, Chile

Photo Credit: Ciudad Emergente

What started as a neighborly potluck has become a national holiday. Chile’s Malón Urbano shows the power of reclaiming streets for meals and conversation. Read more.

2. Macon Connects, Macon, Georgia

Photo Credit: Mark Strozier/NewTown Macon

How do you octuple a city’s bike ridership for a week? Install the largest pop-up bike lane network in the world. See how a small southern city made it happen through Macon Connects. Read more.

3. Dispersione Zero, Sassari, Italy

Photo Credit: TaMaLaCà

Every public space intervention is a learning experience. One project that takes this concept very seriously is Dispersione Zero, which enrolled 20 primary school students at risk of dropping out to build furniture and revive a bleak sidewalk. Read more.

4. Seeds for Change, Gurgaon, India

Photo Credit: Amit Bhatt/WRI

Our transportation choices have profound impacts on the public realm. Seeds for Change marks a step in a safer, more sustainable direction with its conversion of four car parking spots to an attractive place with parking for 40 bicycles. Read more.

5. Kalobeyei Public Space Project, Kalobeyei, Kenya

Photo Credit: UN-Habitat

For those displaced from their original homes, LQC can be part of the process of establishing new ones. Minecraft can be another part. Read more.

Jeb Polstein
Jeb Polstein
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COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space