Call it “activated spaces,” “tactical urbanism” or “pop ups,” there’s something afoot in the mashup of urban neglect, a sagging economy, digital tech, and burgeoning entrepreneurism.  And it’s cropping up in DaytonAtlantaSan Francisco, Fort Worth and anywhere you can imagine an instant art/food/shopping/play/fun experience.

New York

Fort Worth


What is it?  It’s a down and dirty way to re-imagine the urban landscape by inserting instant gardens, art, shops, food, music and anything else that can be plunked, dug, hoisted,or inserted into the empty lots, abandoned buildings and decaying streets of our cities.  Or you can think of it as a flash-mob-inspired taking-it-to-the-streets effort at revitalizing neighborhoods. It could be anything.  Even libraries, big

New York

and small

New York

Here’s a blog devoted just to them.  And then there’s chair bombing  

DoTank gets ready to chair bomb the neighborhood

And the results

You’ll find a cool video and explanation of chair bombing from the DoTank site.

And, just for fun, here’s a link to a stepping video performed on the Highline, one of the great city-sponsored new urbanism projects.

If you think about social media like Facebook and how it created a virtual community, this urban guerilla art/design/living movement is bringing that new sense of connection to the streets. I find all of it inspired. Creative. And of the moment. It certainly is fun. And it does compel us to see where and how we live with each other with new eyes. And a new sense of the possible.