The right to the city is a basic concept that claims the right to make use of a public space, sufficient and safe for all citizens. A space that is accessible in an inclusive way and can meet the needs of different population groups, whether they are young people, infants, the elderly, migrants and other groups.

Cities have traditionally been designed so that Adults of productive age can access all the services in a private vehicle. places of the city. The streets have been ordered so that these subjects of the population move from their residential areas to places production, obtaining services and consumption spaces.

This planning, increasingly obsolete, has stopped covering other needs of this group and above all it has not been able to cover many demands and needs of other groups. This way of planning has been modified in recent years and various cities have already begun to rethink the city and to make effective that right to the city. Inclusive cities have emerged, cities designed by and for women, the cities of the boys and girls, cities cities, smart cities, the creative districts, the zero emission cities And a long etcetera.

All these models of cities use different theories t techniques, many of them common to all of them. They are models and terms different, that ultimately seek to tackle the same main objective, humanize the city, plan it so that it can house life in all its natural and human diversity. Tactical urbanism is one more tool that seeks in a simple way to contribute to that common goal. This type of Urbanism allows urban communities to recover different spaces of their environment revaluing those spaces in disuse or giving it a new use to the community to those areas of the city originally with another use. This way of planning and transforming the city has three essential premises.

  1. The interventions will always be of low cost
  2. The implementation of the measures is agile and simple
  3. Changes are aimed at improving the community, placing it in the center of these.

There are three simple premises that collide head-on with the way of carrying out urbanism until now. Urban planning has not been consensual or participatory. There are few examples in which the very population has decided how to organize their neighborhood or city. Although in the last decade Participatory or consultative processes are becoming more frequent every day.

Another of the main assets of this type of urban planning is that the magnitude of the interventions is manageable, it is about making concrete changes and very localized that do not require much investment and that can be carried out partially or totally by the community itself. Projects are usually create areas for people to meet and enjoy urban spaces. These range from making a mural, a picnic area or community gardens to simply take chairs and tables out into the streets to play or enjoy the community. It is about recovering urban space for such simple activities such as talks, reading a book, drawing, playing checkers with the neighbor or prepare a jamada with the community. Build small towns that generate roots to the population within an urban framework that has sometimes suffered a process of uprooting and has been dehumanized. Projects can be done naturalization of the neighborhood, creating new play areas for boys and girls, create outdoor cinemas; mobile libraries; What, if you make of these places different from the already existing meeting and enjoyment spaces, is that these they are not necessarily linked to commercial activity. They are not squares with shops and bars if not spaces that allow leisure and a different way of socializing, without being directly linked to consumption.

Latin America, with high rates of urban population and characterized by its way of socializing on the streets typical of the Latin character, is the vanguard in examples of tactical urbanism. These are some of the Types of Interventions in Tactical Urbanism collected by Edgar Pieterse in Latin American Cases

  • “Chair bombing” is an urban tactic that is easy to implement, with the aim of activating public space in an agile and experimental way,
  • “Cinema vivo” is a cinema group that deals with a van prepared to project a film in the open air​.
  • “Mobile Library” is about a mobile library that transports more than three thousand books for free consultation, in addition to incorporating a space for conferences and projections.
  • “Whereabouts for park books” is a program of the Ministry of Culture, Recreation and Sports and the District Institute of Arts, in agreement with reading​.
  • “Plantón Movil” a group of flowers, shrubs and trees march among the buildings, the traffic, transporting by cars, wheelbarrows, bicycles, backpacks, hands or heads, in search of their place in the city.
  • “Malón Urbano” the The objective is to invite the neighbors to take their tables out onto the street.
  • “Guerrilla gardening” place gardening elements in spaces where they do not exist and where there is no legal permit to do it.
  • “Open streets” temporary spaces to walk, bike or attend social activities.
  • “Colorful zebra ” where entire streets become public space.
  • “Unpaved” remove unnecessary pavement to place green areas.
  • < strong>“Parks or Pop-up Stores” residual spaces that are temporarily converted into public or commercial areas​.
  • “Block improvement initiatives” With materials cheap or donated in commercial streets transforming them into public spaces, cycle paths and taking away space from the vehicle.

Today there are many operational examples of tactical urbanism, all over the world. We collect some inspiring examples.

  • One of the most emblematic examples is the reorganization of Times Square in New York.
  • The super-islands of Barcelona that seek to recover urban space using simple structures such as large flowerpots or placing benches and chairs on old roads.
  • The boardwalk in Havana as an example of a meeting and socialization place.
  • Artistic exhibitions in favelas or humble neighborhoods of different cities around the world. Like the PIIE community muralism program in Mendoza (Argentina).
  • The renaturation of gray spaces through green infrastructure as was done in the “Green Virus” project in Medellín (Colombia).
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