Home > Projects > Tactical Urbanism

Tactical urbanism is defined as a quick, often temporary, inexpensive projects that aim to make a small part of the city, such as a sidewalk or street crossing, more lively and enjoyable. Through this project, SJSU urban planning students connect with community organizations and neighborhood associations to determine what the community wants to create a cohesive design that is both functional and representative of the communities character.

By determining the needs of the community, SJSU urban planning students are able to develop tactical urbanism projects to present to the community for further feedback. One of the most important aspects of this project is community feedback because it allows students the opportunity to further develop their tactical urbanism projects for prospective implementation.

This past semester, SJSU Interior Design students worked with the Northside community to generate the feeling of being in an outdoor living room. The final product includes a mural covering two faces of a laundromat at 13th and Empire Streets while featuring a mural and street furniture for community members to utilize while waiting for their laundry. The design represents a graphic history of San José, from its agricultural roots to modern day buildings downtown.

By the Numbers | 2018-2019

23 SJSU students engaged

90 community residents engaged

3,490 hours of service

$86,168 value

Project Impact

  • A class of 23 interior design undergraduate students was split into six teams, each of which developed and presented a concept design to a panel of judges comprised of community members, design professionals, and faculty. One winning design was selected to be executed on-site, at the 13th & Empire Street Laundromat, by the end of the semester.
  • On December 8, 2018, 96 community members attended the unveiling of Mi Sala Tu Sala, a new public space designed and executed by SJSU students.

Community Voices

“It doesn’t seem like this odd piece of corporate work that’s detached from the community … it seems like, like it just belongs here.”
–Northside Community Member

“If you see someone putting in effort, especially this amount of effort, it kinda makes you subconsciously view this space in a different light…like it’s something worth caring for or looking after.”
–Northside Community Member

“The creating and building of things, gives us the taste of what is possible of what could be accomplished in the community.”
–Nic, SJSU Interior Design Student

“It also gives us the ability to negotiate [with advice of professionals] the practicality of design.”
–Andrew, SJSU Interior Design Student