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The ideas in the Tactical Guide have been developed to help you:

Solo Effort icon
Re-imagine and Re-purpose

Re-imagine and Re-purpose the spaces and places in your neighbourhood to help you be more active and social.

Support My Neighbours icon

Re-think how you can implement small-scale activities in your neighbourhood spaces to help your neighbours be more active and socially connected.

Group Collaboration icon
Enable and empower

Enable and empower your neighbours to plan and implement tactical placemaking strategies together.

For those that require a bit more effort, start by sharing the idea with your neighbours to see who’s interested in helping out.


Use the Tactical Guide to review the seven Tactics (e.g., Naturalize, Activate)

Use the Tactical Guide to review the seven Tactics (e.g., Naturalize, Activate) and the activities described under each one. Consider which ones you might want to implement or use them as inspiration to brainstorm your own ideas. Share the Tactical Guide with your neighbours to get their input and ideas. You can also use the infographics if you want to narrow down the ideas.

The Tactical Guide offer ideas that are big and small, no-cost, low-cost and a bit-more-cost, and simple to plan to a bit more time-consuming. You decide what your interest is, what excites you and what you have time for. Make this fun and feasible for you!


Think Like a Tactical Placemaker

Think Like a Tactical Placemaker. This means taking the initiative but, most importantly, being intentional about implementing ideas that everyone in the neighbourhood can participate in, regardless of the dwelling in which they live (house, shelter, older adult building), their culture, gender, ability, age, and interests. And remember that many of these activities can be adapted for any season! Consider the different organizations and groups you will need to connect and engage with to build capacity and community connection.


Determine the feasibility and impact of the activity(ies)

Determine the feasibility and impact of the activity(ies) on the community. You may have experience planning and implementing activities and/or have knowledge about similar activities that have been done that you can build on and learn from. Start by thinking about what resources (people, organizations/ associations/ agencies/ local business/ schools, money, planning time, costs, etc.) are needed. For example, does the activity need a large group to plan and / or implement it? Will this be on your own property, or will the activity need to be in a public space that requires approval? Consider the assets in your community such as parks, playgrounds, alleys, waterfronts, sidewalks, courtyards, community rooms. The number of volunteers and budget needed will depend on how complex the idea is. Then think about whether the activity is the best one for your neighbours and your neighbourhood to increase physical activity and social connections? There are many ideas to choose from and you can also implement more than one to achieve your goal.


Engage with neighbours and other community members

Engage with neighbours and other community members to gather feedback on the proposed activity (ies). Be prepared to adapt the ideas based on their feedback. The goal is to include everyone who wants to be included – to “make neighbours” not nemeses. Now is also the time to recruit volunteers to help. You may need to gather support from the neighbourhood or larger community to help you plan and determine their overall interest. You can connect with your neighbours by knocking on their doors or leaving a note with your idea and ask them to contact you if they are interested in being involved. Some neighbourhoods use local bulletin boards or Facebook groups to connect with other neighbours. Other connections in the community may be local schools, libraries, community centers, businesses, museums / historical societies, and of course, your local municipality. Learn more about promoting your community engagement project here


Plan the Activity

Plan the Activity. Describe what the activity will look like, identify any approvals, permits needed or any by-laws to be considered, put together a budget and timeline, determine the tasks that need to be done (e.g., set up and clean up) and who is needed for various aspects of the activity (volunteers, community staff, etc.), and decide if you need a promotion strategy. Depending on the complexity of the activity, collect any funding needed or apply for funding through various sources, partner with other groups and pitch to the district or municipality.

Use the resources from 8 80 cities to help audit the area for needs. Check out this tactical urbanism guide from StreetPlans.


Oh yes … the issue of by-laws

Most small changes in public space do not require a by-law permit, or these permits are easy and accessible to apply for. Many municipalities are interested in breaking down barriers to community engagement and encourage and welcome the public’s ideas and solutions. In some cases, municipalities have a budget for these types of activities and can support you! Don’t hesitate to call your municipality if you’re not sure. Seek out and listen to the folks who are tuned into these opportunities such as the recreation and parks and community development staff.


Deliver the activity

After all of the planning, it’s time to enjoy. The whole point is to create a place that people want to be in. A place that brings fun, joy, activity and comradery. Now is the time to focus on the fun of it!


Record your progress

Record your progress by taking note of what you did and how you implemented the tactic. Take pictures of your progress and during the activity/event itself.


Evaluate the success

Evaluate the success of the activity. Keep it simple by noting what went well, what could be improved and how this activity could be replicated again. Ask neighbours/participants for their thoughts as well. In some cases, taking photos of and making notes about what a space was like before the activity/event, including some of the permanent changes that occurred as a result of the activity, will help prove its impact over time and, perhaps, make the case for a long-term or permanent event, activity or physical installation (e.g., mural walls, benches).


Communicate the ongoing involvement, development, and success

Communicate the ongoing involvement, development, and success of the activity through various channels on social media. Communication can be as simple as putting out a sign on your front lawn prompting your neighbours to take some of the fresh veggies you grew this summer or prompting others to use the basketball net you left on your front driveway. Share pictures from your activities and events to document the success, promote neighbourhood pride and inspire neighbours to create more activities.


Plan for the next tactic and activity(ies)

Use your experience with one activity to move on to the next idea!

See the Our Squamish Case Study to see how they used the outlined steps in their Placemaking initiative.