“Pop-up” can describe a video, a web ad, or a batted ball.
In cities across America and other parts of the world, entrepreneurs, community activists, urban engineers and planners are giving the term a new meaning.
Pop up urbanism, also known as tactical urbanism, takes advantage of temporary space, public transportation, and the flow of pedestrian movements. Products are sold, new ideas are tested, and initiatives are explained one on one. One reviewer on Amazon described it as "the small things any town can do to make it more inviting, exciting, enchanting and livable."
As one would imagine, the District of Columbia is striking the iron hot. In April, Mike Lydon, author of “Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change” and one of the founders of the tactical urbanist movement, spoke at a forum sponsored by Greater Greater Washington, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and Island Press. (Lydon offers that “urban planning is the equivalent of the iPhone replacing the mainframe.”)
Alexandria is also getting in on the game too (perhaps the Farmer’s Market is the oldest continuous pop up space!).
The latest example arrived yesterday in the Carlyle neighborhood. Headlong workers coming out of the Duke Street Tunnel at the foot of Motley Fool were greeted with bluegrass music (Did you hear “Salty Dog Blues?”) and two pop-up stands.
Sugar Shack, popular in Parker-Gray, sold coffee and donuts. Marketing Manager Vashone Huff and her colleague touted the benefits of Zipcar. One benefit, I learned, is free membership for Alexandria residents.
Lee at Red Brick Town will have more on this pop-up campaign. The participants weren’t sure of the schedule going forward. We’ll try and keep you posted.