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One thing every neighbourhood has in common is the ability to use the Tactical Guide. This adaptation will depend on your imagination and your access to resources. The Tactical Guide is about re-imagining, re-thinking and re-purposing the spaces in your neighbourhood to support and encourage physical activity and social connections. Most of the activities in the Tactical Guide are those that have been tried and tested in other neighbourhoods and communities, while some have been provided by people using their imaginations. Use the activities as described or as prompts to re-imagine how you can use the activity ideas in a way that better suits your own neighbourhood.

Feel free to add your own ideas to the mix and then send them to us and we will add them to the Tactical Guide.

One way to re-imagine how you can implement an activity is by “deconstructing” it and then “reconstructing” it.

Deconstruct the idea

  • Read through the activity
  • Write down what the main component(s) or idea(s) is/are within it

Then, Reconstruct it:

  • Consider your circumstances. For example:
    • Does your neighbourhood have paved roads or gravel roads?
    • Do you have sidewalks that can be used?
    • Are homes close together or further apart?
    • What types of dwellings are in your neighbourhood (high rises? A mix of housing? Are businesses part of your neighbourhood)
    • What are the weather/climate conditions at the time that I want to implement this activity?
    • Who makes up your neighbourhood? Do you have newcomer families in your neighbourhood? Are there families with young children and/or a significant older adult population?
  • Note which parts of it can work in your neighbourhood and which ones need to be adapted.
  • Based on the main components of the activity/idea and the considerations above, adapt or re-create a new activity

Here are three examples:

Tactic: Naturalize

Activity: Park(ing) Day

Deconstruct: What is/are the main component(s) or idea(s) of this activity?

  • Nature
  • Audience: People walking/cycling/wheeling to a space and convening or those who work in the area, tourists
  • Re-purposing a space that is not typically used as a park


  • Locate another paved space in the neighbourhood that people can walk/cycle/wheel to. Ideas include areas around schools, parking spaces in a strip mall, shopping centre, business areas or apartment building.
  • Populate the space with foldable chairs, some type of groundcover to make the area visually nice and comfortable
  • If there is resistance to taking up a parking spot in a downtown/old town area (even though the metre is paid), work with local business to host a friendly competition on International Park(ing) to stimulate creativity and bring more people to the business area. While enjoying Park(ing) Day, people can also wander the area to shops (physical activity and support of local economy).

Tactic: Culinize

Activity: Mobile Produce Market

Deconstruct: What is/are the main component(s) or idea(s) of this activity?

  • Sharing food
  • Mobile


  • Assemble veggies, fruits, etc. that neighbours have grown as well as any canned or jarred preserves that people have made and are willing to share
  • Arrange the food in baskets and use wagons that can be pulled while walking or bike attachments
  • Ride through the neighbourhood giving or selling the produce. You might even have a little bell or music to indicate that you are there (like the ice cream truck … but without the ice cream … or with the ice cream!)

Tactic: Whimsicalize and Gamify

Activity: Draw a Labyrinth

Deconstruct: What is/are the main component(s) or idea(s) of this activity?

  • People getting together
  • Using pavement markings as a creative way to be active and decorate the area.


  • Let’s say you live in a rural area with roads that are not paved in the area where you want to do this. Most of the homes are single-dwelling. Neighbours are all ages and multi-cultural.
  • Pavement markings can come in non-permanent forms such as chalk, rain-activated paint, tape or food colouring in the snow. This could be done using rain-activated or non-permanent paint on the gravel. Or in winter using food colouring
  • The creation doesn’t require words, just pictures (not requiring knowledge of the language)

Placemaking doesn’t have to be only done with large investments or lengthy processes—in fact, tactical placemaking is all about low-cost and low-effort changes that make the neighbourhood a better place to be.