Liveblogging the Tactical Urbanism Salon: Pecha Kucha Presentations

Pecha Kucha

  •  BroLab used Q32 bus line between Flux Factory & Momenta Art to stage "Bench Press"; created a template & built benches along bus lines.
  • Project allowed people to see benches building built, get a sense of the work that went into them.
  • Did 12-15 live-build installations of benches at bus stops over the course of one day.

Vertical Theory, Karen Mackay
  • Wanted to find solutions for large-scale sustainability issues on a local level; looked at urban farms as a solution
  • Cities = limited horizontal outdoor space; how do we grow food here? Farmscrapers need lots of time & $, but VT looks at how do non-horizontal farming in a more DIY way
  • Looked @ hydroponics, wooly pockets, not nobody was doing these two things together; started doing prototypes to use piping in pockets to distribute water
  •  Also working on creating prototypes in glass; harder to be DIY, but can still have an impact and get people thinking

TreeKIT, Sophie Plitt
  • Urban trees have many benefits: "Trees really make cities; although they're extremely ubiquitous, we don't always see them for how valuable they are."
  • NYC is relying on individuals, developing a stewardship model. Not really working yet.
  • TreeKIT hias developed a "Track, See, Collect" mapping model to increase stewardship. Currently collecting the data to allow people to track their stewardship.
  • Draw people [general public] into the data-collection process - "Participatory action research"

    Bus Roots, Marco Antonio Castro
    • MTA has 4,500 buses: if every bus had a green roof, that = 35 acres of new greenspace (that's about 4 Bryant Parks)
    • It's a network of mobile parks that can go to the places that need them, "A network of moving gardens rolling around the city"
    • Prototype was built using a van; Castro developed it as part of an artist residency in New London; another was done on a small bus in Guadalajara

    Bring to Light, Anna Muessig
    •  Nuit Blanche events are one-night events that transform public space w/light from dusk to dawn; first Bring to Light happened in Greenpoint, BK, on Oct 1st 2011
    • Created a temporary public path along the waterfront (normally private space)--NYC has a long-term plan to make that path permanently public (example of using art to help people visualize change)
    • Had to work with private developers to gain access to a lot of places
    • Doing a nuit blanche is unique; uses industrial space, becomes more of a tactical intervention
    • Project increased public access to waterfront, changed the way people inhabited streets at night, and used art as a wedge to advance an urban agenda
    • De Certeau: Strategy is the tool of the planner, tactics is the tool of the pedestrian
    • Raise collective intelligence and cohesion of pedestrian
    Tomorrow Lab, Ted Ullrich
    • Tomorrow Lab's idea: Small objects can lead to big change!
    • Industrial designers can help create things that shape cities; objects help to shape cities, every object is designed
    • Tomorrow Lab created downloadable instructions and DIY kits for creating hydroponic systems for urban environments
    • Want to flip the typical planning process on its head and make things
    • Three ideas behind Tomorrow Lab: Meet to Make (leave a residue when you meet); Communicate assembly instructions (if it can be repeatable, make sure that it is); Publish Online early, iterate!
    Social Bicycles, Ryan Rzepecki
    •  Challenge: Velib in Paris is amazing but very infrastructure-intensive
    •  Rzepecki joined the NYC DOT around the time of the Times Square closure; founded I Bike NY
    • Filed a patent in June 2009 to build locking mechanism into bikes and track with GPS; low-intensity infrastructure
    • Gained exposure & support through the Pepsi Refresh crowdfunding project; as a result, stepped up prototyping efforts
    • Connected bikes to an app that maps available bikes nearby

    Enabling City, Chiara Camponeschi
    • From urbanization to overconsumption--the way cities decide to address these issues and increase livability, we need to think about new ways of experimenting and being more curious
    • Who we include, variety of constituencies, makes a crucial difference
    • EC is a toolkit for creating enabling places of participation.
    • How can we engage our neighbors and work together to "create networks of urban solidarity"?
    • Cities need to open up spaces for public experimentation.
    • "If cities aren't 'enabling,' then what are they and who are they helping?"

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