Vacant lots. Empty storefronts. Run down buildings, and scantly used parking lots. Overly wide streets for driving. This is a disheartening scene that can be found in almost every American city. And while many urban neighborhoods are thriving, too many others have not recovered from a half-century of systemic disinvestment.
Bringing needed amenities to those – young and old – who have endured these conditions is hard to achieve because building rehabilitation costs are high and municipal policies and ordinances remain onerous and outdated.
Yet, so many of these places have a strong social fabric, an interesting history, and possibly a bright future — and in Dallas, a group of artists and activists have shown us that you don’t need to wait for an angel investor or benevolent government agency to play the role of savior.
Instead, the people that live in a neighborhood can jumpstart its revitalization in a single weekend, armed with nothing more than their energy, ideas and donated materials.
This feature is an excerpt from a new book out from Island Press, Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action for Long-Term Change.