Walk/Bike/Places 2018 and Radical Transformations
How long should it take to fix an intersection, traffic calm a street, place-make a public plaza, install a protected bikeway, or build a cycletrack network? The technically correct response goes something like, ‘That depends on traffic volume, who owns the road, what funds will be used, what agency or agencies will execute the work, whether the project is in the CIP or TIP, what are the local politics of the project’ and so on. There is another way.
When the Walk/Bike/Places conference convenes in New Orleans this September 16–19, one of the subjects we will be exploring is how to use demonstration projects, tactical urbanism and quick-builds to fix safety problems, add connectivity, build public support, and reduce agency inertia.
We are currently seeking experts to help us investigate the following topics:
- Definitions. In our word salad we have: Tactical Urbanism, Lighter/Quicker/Cheaper, demonstration projects, quick build, pilot projects, interim design, activations, Placemaking, Better Blocks, pop-ups, and temporary <fill in the ______ >. Some of these describe brands and some of these describe concepts. What do they mean and which one fits the approach and outcome you seek?
- Demonstrating the need to demonstrate. Alternative project delivery models can be disruptive for an agency. What are the arguments for convincing the people above and below you that they are a good idea? What are the best practices for deploying staff, budgeting, operations, and management? What are the liability concerns with these project types?
- Matching solutions and problems. Your menu of solutions includes: protected bike lanes, road diets, traffic calming, Ciclovias, beaches, benches, express bus service, libraries, pavement-to-plaza, and bus stop activations. Your problems include: funding, expertise, mayoral pledges, weather, traffic and institutional will. How to choose? What have other cities learned? How can local government, advocacy and non-profits work together to make things happen?
- Institutionalizing lessons learned. Other than building small projects quickly, what are the other benefits of experimenting with alternative project delivery models? How can these experiences result in a more responsive and agile agency? How can demonstration projects be incorporated into the traditional planning process?
Does your agency or organization have experience addressing any of these topics? If so, please join us and share your experience by applying to present at Walk/Bike/Places 2018. Begin your application here and when prompted select ‘Breakout Session Panelist’ and choose ‘Radical Transformations’ as your topic.
Submit your proposal by 8 pm Eastern, February 2, 2018 to be considered for the program.
Helpful links and information:
- Southern California Association of Governments’ Go Human program has used pop-ups, parklets and other temporary improvements to engage the public and build support for active transportation improvements. Video summary and blog.
- Fayetteville, Arkansas has embraced Tactical Urbanism. Apply today to do your own Placemaking project in Fayetteville!
- The people of our host city and Bike Easy have a thing or two to teach us about doing pop-up bikeways quickly, efficiently and inexpensively.
- “Quick Builds for Better Streets: A New Project Delivery Model for U.S. Cities,” is a great agency primer put together by PeopleForBikes.
- “Hack > Tinker > Analyze > Design: How Short-Term Placemaking Experiments Transformed Philadelphia’s University City,” is an informative case study of how Placemaking and temporary projects can transform a district.
- “Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design,” by Street Plans.
- “The Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Transformation of Public Spaces,” by Project for Public Spaces.
- Calgary’s Pop-Up Cycletrack Network is the alpha and omega of demonstration projects.
Walk/Bike/Places is North America’s largest active transportation and placemaking conference. Radical Transformations is only one of many topics that will be addressed by our conference program. For more details about our Call for Proposals and conference outcomes, please visit www.walkbikeplaces.org/proposals. The deadline for all proposals is 8 pm Eastern, February 2, 2018.
For information about becoming a conference sponsor or exhibitor please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest news follow us at Walk/Bike/Places. Walk/Bike/Places was established in 1980 and is produced by Project for Public Spaces.