MA Urban Design Studio | Group 5: Tactical Design Precedents
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Group 5: Tactical Design Precedents

Case study 1: Mean Streets, New York, 2014


Agents of change:

CUP: Aaron Reiss (Teaching Artist)

Pema Domingo-Barker (Project Lead)

Valeria Mogilevich (Project Support)

Academy of Urban Planning: Students

Yelena Boroda (Classroom Teacher)


Intended Audience:

People on the street,

A Community Board representative,

Staff from the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.).


Purpose of the Project:

With the mayor kicking off the new Vision Zero project, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero, road safety is a hot topic. But with bikes, cars, pedestrians, and buses all competing for New York City’s streets, this case is for avoiding fatal accidents.


Project Tactical:

Education: Create and display public service announcements — posters to educate the public about important issues — to let people know how dangerous it is to text and walk or drive.

Enforcement: Have police increase the amount of tickets and warnings they give to people who cross against the light at Myrtle/Wyckoff.

Engineering: Build a little island around the pillars. That way, pedestrians have a safe place to wait and drivers know to avoid that part of the street.



Call 311

Talk to your Community Board

Get some help from non-profit organizations

Forward your request to the D.O.T.

Keep the pressure on until change is made





Case study 2: Jeb Janine School Playground 2016 (a playground for refugee children as emergency response)


Project background: the Syrian crisis is the world’s largest refugee crisis for almost a century under UNHCR mandate, with around 56% of all Syrian refugees are under 18 years old making it largely a crisis of children and youth. They live in housing without sufficient space for play and in areas where they do not have a safe space for play in their surrounding. However, a playground has the power to answer some of the main needs of children to better cope with the situation.

This project as a emergent and innovative process lies within not simply providing playing facilities (swing, slide, etc.) but rather in exploring opportunities that enable these children to design the playground themselves. So, in this way, a project that user participate the design process can increase practicability in the future to large extent. Also, this makes the playground specific for its context, time and people.

As for urban design tactics, public space such as corner park, street playground and green space play an important role in constructing a energetic and positive area. However, when the designer design or build it, let local citizens participate the project maybe more meaningful and practicable.




Chen Chen