Tactical urbanism includes low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places. Tactical urbanism is also commonly referred to as guerrilla urbanism, pop-up urbanism, city repair, or D.I.Y. urbanism. Other terms include planning-by-doing, urban acupuncture, and urban prototyping.
The term was popularized around 2010 to refer to a range of existing techniques. The Street Plans Collaborative defines „tactical urbanism“ as an approach to urban change that features the following five characteristics:
- A deliberate, phased approach to instigating change;
- The offering of local solutions for local planning challenges;
- Short-term commitment as a first step towards longer-term change;
- Lower-risk, with potentially high rewards; and
- The development of social capital between citizens and the building of organizational capacity between public and private institutions, non-profits, and their constituents.