What is tactical urbanism? More than coloured paint

Tactical urbanism is a simple and powerful way of transforming urban space, adopted by cities around the world as a more cost-effective and temporary way of introducing elements to change the way space is used. The formula is based on provisional and affordable measures which are easy to implement, such as strips of colours, urban furniture, moveable plant beds and games painted on the ground.

22/03/2021 17:26 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

We have been opting for this approach for years in Barcelona because:

  • It is ideal when swift changes are needed or the required funding is not available.
  • It offers a vision of alternative uses of a space.
  • It allows planners to innovate and find out if measures match people’s needs.

A final project that allows for changes

If the tactical transformation project works, the work is implemented permanently at a later date. If changes are needed, the final project is adapted. This helps optimise the final project as local people have been able to make the space theirs, make the most of it and enjoy it. During the design of the project, planners can see what uses local people have made of the space, whether any elements are needed (such as tables or benches) or whether they need to be repositioned.

Where has tactical urbanism been applied?

Tactical projects have transformed life in the superblocks in Sant Antoni and Poblenou, increased safety in areas around schools and provided wider pavements in Ronda de la Universitat and Via Laietana. Thanks to tactical urbanism we have been able to respond to the challenges of the pandemic by gaining pedestrian space, creating new terraces for bars and restaurants and extending existing ones.

New design for C/ Pelai

Carrer de Pelai is to gain 1,500 square metres for pedestrians and local shops and businesses. Traffic will also be reduced there, with fewer lanes. The project responds to the demands of local residents and commerce and will help provide an economic boost for the centre.

The project is the first to feature a new design based on the city’s characteristic ‘panot’ paving stone, with the name of the street, pictograms and colours in warm friendly tones.

Full information on the new website barcelona.cat/urbanismetactic.


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