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January 14, 2021
On October 28th, 2020, the ULI Washington Young Leaders Group Real Estate 101 Committee hosted a virtual event titled “Tactical Urbanism in a Mixed-Use Environment.” Sohael Chowfla, Development Director at EDENS, David Kitchens, Principal at Cooper Carry, Inc., and Robert Mandle, Chief Operating Officer at Crystal City Business Development District all shared their professional experiences with Tactical Urbanism, while Carolyn Sponza, Senior Associate at Gensler moderated the discussion.
Though Tactical Urbanism isn’t yet a household term; it has certainly become more and more relevant here in Washington, DC and throughout most cities as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused real estate owners and tenants to rethink their urban spaces. Sponza provided a brief introduction to the topic and discussed it being a type of small-scale or temporary place making intervention, specifically designed to foster the creation of interpersonal moments.
The panelists went on to discuss how the success of these places isn’t necessarily defined by their architectural design, but more so on how users are engaging with the newfound environment. Are more people visiting the project? There are quantifiable ways to measure this, such as social media presence, sales at local shops and foot traffic.
As COVID 19 continues to alter the ways in which residents, tourists, tenants, and property owners interact with the built environment we should certainly see more and more examples of Tactical Urbanism pop-up in our neighborhoods. The event concluded with a Q&A and a networking session where event-goers shared their personal experiences in these new environments
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