What is a Tactical Plaza?

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What is a Tactical Plaza?

Written by: Keysoft Solutions

Looking out the window of the Keysoft Boston office has been exciting for the past few years. A booming economy has enabled redevelopment and infill throughout Boston as evident by the skyline that seems to change weekly. New development is driving the need for smart use of our transportation infrastructure and careful preservation and creation of urban open spaces.

Boston has a very old street “grid”, if you can even call it a grid! Down the street from our office on Franklin Street is the block historically called Tautine Crescent. In a partnership between a high-rise developer, the city of Boston, and the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, the Tautine Crescent streetscape has been transformed to allow smoother, safer traffic flow with a new, public open space.

This is being done as a “tactical plaza”, a term coined by urban planners to mean a temporary, low-cost space designed to determine the long-term feasibility of a permanent installation. In this case, the landscape architecture and planning firm, Ground Inc., designed this temporary plaza using typical traffic control devices such as jersey barriers, reflective delineators, colored pavement and road striping (click here for more images).

Using AutoSTRIPE by Keysoft to recreate the road markings and traffic delineators, we can quickly see the before and after impact of this transformation. It is evident that this public space is serving many more uses than the previous condition. Vehicular movement, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian safety is all improved while maintaining similar traffic flow in the dense, urban setting.

Through the smart use of relatively cheap materials concepts can be proven, and the public can get on-board with further investment into a permanent plaza!