What the heck is tactical urbanism and what’s it doing in Bridgeland?
Sometimes called DIY Urbanism, Urban Acupuncture or Pop-Up Urbanism, Tactical Urbanism uses everyday materials to make interesting experiments within a community street experience. The outcomes of these short-term pilot projects are used to help make choices about more permanent neighbourhood improvements.
This summer, project partners JEMM Properties and the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association are bringing tactical urbanism to a wedge of vacant land along Bridgeland’s southern edge. The triangular grassy spot is located at a highly visible junction where 9th Avenue NE joins with Memorial Drive. It sits adjacent to 950 MacPherson Square, where JEMM has plans to develop a new 285-unit mixed-use rental property called The Bridge.
“As people walk from the C-train station and step into Bridgeland, they all pass through this natural gateway area,” explains Ali McMillan, Planning Director for the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association. “Until now it’s been a blank spot on the landscape and we wanted to start the conversation with residents about animating this entry point into our community with something welcoming and funky.”
JEMM has kick-started the project by funding the design and fabrication of 3-D Hollywood-style letters that spell out the word B-R-I-D-G-E-L-A-N-D. Currently being crafted from wood by local makers FUSE33 MakerSpace. The letters will be ready for installation in late August.
Residents are encouraged to participate in the broader conversation about potentially replacing this temporary installation with a more permanent feature in the future.
“The process of activating under-used urban spaces depends on collaboration and getting neighbours to come out and talk about what’s best for the community,” said Edan Lindenbach, Director of Development for JEMM. “This project has just the right mix of practicality and fun to spark a great conversation about what’s next for Bridgeland.”
Bridgeland residents who would like more information about the project can contact Ali McMillan, Planning Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to brcacalgary.org. You can also find the BCRA on Facebook or @BRCAssociation on Twitter.