Rik Adamski, was the Streetscape Team Leader on the embRACE theSTREET Better Block project, in Fort Worth’s Near Northeast Side. He is currently spearheading a large-scale “Incremental Urbanism” project for SteerFW, Mayor Betsy Price’s young leader initiative for the City of Fort Worth. He has also guest lectured on the subject of Tactical Urbanism at University of Texas at Arlington. Rik earned his Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati. He has over ten years experience in the real estate and planning industries and currently, is a Senior Planner for Bowman-Melton, Associates, a Dallas-based firm, which specializes in pedestrian and bicycle planning.
Bio complements of Texas A&M : http://calendar.tamu.edu/?&eventdatetime_id=14700
I got a chance to attend the presentation presented by Rik Adamski, at the University of Arlington. I’ll admit wasn’t really looking foward to the presentation, but I learned it was my ignorance because I had NOOO idea what Tactical Urbanism was.
How dose Tactical Urbanism differ from these New Urbanism developments, which I see as building these mini communities that don’t require transportation because everything is in walking distance, and these communities are designed to be completely sustainable amongst themselves and its residents.
Tactical urbanism helps citizen activists transform their own communities and educate others about how urban interventions can lead to long-term change in the quality and function of an urban space. Participants will gain knowledge on: The range of tactics available for different purposes, How to plan an intervention, How to identify a site for an urban intervention, How to gain the proper permissions for staging an intervention, How to recruit participants, How to recruit sponsors and donors.
The challenge is teaching some to live on less, and how to use less resources ~ Rik Adamski
You have to put a little pressure on cities by demonstrating … Show them urbanism can also be fun ~Rik Adamski
I hate to always be criticizing these communities, but what drives me nuts is that these communities are built based on what the developer thinks a particular community needs, granted yes I understand they do extensive surveys and lots of neighborhood meetings to determine what a particular New Urban Community needs. It just keeps resulting in a serious imbalance.
Plus one reason we have so many cars on the roads is due to individuals who want diversity, and options. They want options in work location, entertainment ect.
The imbalance, meaning you have these New Urban Communities where the developer decided to bring in organic grocery stores, upscale salons and retail stores. Then you have the other neighborhoods that are developed with several multifamily properties with culturally based grocery stores (El Rigio/Alde) and school buses that transport the children to overcrowded schools across town. I get it if you don’t like that communities features find another community, but that’s why we have land locked cities and rapid sprawling.
After the presentation I now understand:
The beautiful thing about DYI Urbanism, it’s completely driven by the citizens in that community. Tactical Urbanism gives communities tactics to empower community residents and leaders to do different DYI improvements, giving the residents a sense of ownership over their community that will lead to more creative and innovative new urban development ideas.
When it comes to Tactical or New Urbanism, Social Sustainability must come first. I now have a lot of respect for Tactical Urbanism because it takes into account what a lot of organizations are leaving out. I think any type of development is pointless without empowering community residents not just community leaders>> community residents. If you’re not empowering local residents to maintain and continue to grow and improve there communities, we will continue to have sprawling.
I think it’s important that organizations and leaders (Chamber of Commerce’s, Habitat for Humanity’s, Local ISDs ect.) really consider working with neighborhood residents on DIY Projects. These projects will highlight their communities, and if done well will create enough buzz that will encourage to developers taking a second look at their communities for improvements. Then they wouldn’t have to beg Wal-Mart’s to build in their communities and cross their fingers that other business will jump on the Wal-Mart Affect.
My opinion again, but sprawling comes from developers who don’t want to take the time or energy to encourage local residents to make changes. So these developers choose to develop in areas they know they can implement 80% of their own ideas.
Here’s me being a devil’s advocate but I really don’t blame these developers.
Interesting Links Mentioned:
The Building Community Workshop is a Dallas based nonprofit community design center seeing to improve visibility and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens bringing design thinking to areas of our city where resources are most scarce. To do so the BCWorkshop recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.
Dallas Habitat for Humanity
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The “Better Block” project is a demonstration tool that acts as a living charrette so that communities can actively engage in the buildout process and provide feedback in real time