Tactical Urbanism

Incorporating Planters in Different Stages of Tactical Urbanism Projects

Short-term Action, Long-term Change

Tactical urbanism transforms underused parking spaces or sections of streets using lightweight and cost-effective materials. In many cases, the projects are planned in stages; Demonstration, Pilot, Interim, to Permanent. TerraCast® Planters are widely utilized in many tactical urbanism projects in major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and many more. The durability and flexibility of TerraCast® Planters make them popular options for pilot and interim projects that require durable materials with the ability to move around if adjustments are needed. 


Stages of Tactical Urbanism

Tactical urbanism projects often involve temporary changes with quick, low-cost materials that evaluate design alternatives and improve safety in high pedestrian or cyclist areas with high collision rates.

The Demonstration Stage

Demonstration projects range from one day to a month, typically using low-cost and low-durability materials. Example: red traffic cones, wood planters, small planters 

 During the Demonstration stage of tactical urbanism projects, it is essential to use low-cost materials to showcase potential interventions. This stage typically lasts from one day to one month. TerraCast resin planters may not be the most affordable option at first, but they offer long-term value. The smaller-sized planters, like the 20" diameter Vase Planter, are more durable than retail store-bought plastic planters commonly used in the demonstration process. Even though they may be initially more expensive, choosing planters with greater durability provides a better return on investment as the planters can be reused in different areas or in other projects after the demonstration ends. TerraCast planters have an impact-resistant nature that allows them to withstand the wear and tear of multiple deployments, making them a sustainable solution for cities aiming to maximize their investments in tactical urbanism. 

The Pilot Stage

Pilot projects range from one month to one year. The cost remains relatively low, but project managers often look for more durable materials to avoid frequent replacement or maintenance. Example: flex posts/large planters  

 When it comes to pilot projects, it's essential to have durable materials that can stand the test of time. These projects can last from a month to a year, and it's crucial to select materials that can minimize replacement and maintenance costs. For instance, materials such as flex posts and large planters can help achieve this. TerraCast resin planters are an excellent choice for pilot projects as they offer a perfect balance between cost-effectiveness and durability. Their robust construction ensures longevity, making them suitable for longer-term installations. Additionally, these planters are versatile, which allows project managers to experiment with different configurations without significant investment. This provides valuable insights for future urban interventions. By using TerraCast resin planters, project managers can make the most out of pilot projects without worrying about the cost of replacement and maintenance. 

The Interim Stage

Interim projects range from one year to five years. The materials used should balance flexibility and maintenance needs. The cost is low to moderate due to the requirement for higher durability. Example: large planters/concrete blocks  

 Interim projects can be challenging to execute, and selecting the right materials is crucial for their success. These projects generally last between one to five years, and the materials used should be flexible, easy to maintain, and durable. For example, large planters and concrete blocks are commonly used in these projects. TerraCast resin planters offer a practical and cost-effective solution for interim projects. Their lightweight design makes them easy to install and reconfigure, allowing for adaptability to changing urban dynamics. These planters can be used as temporary barriers or decorative elements and contribute to the safety and aesthetic appeal of the environment. By choosing TerraCast resin planters, interim projects can be completed smoothly and efficiently, contributing to vibrant and functional urban environments.

The Permanent Stage

Permanent projects use materials that do not move easily, and the design lasts anywhere from five to fifty years. As they involve a permanent capital upgrade, the cost is high, and they are selected to last years with minimal upkeep or modifications.

TerraCast planters, which are often utilized early as versatile structures for tactical urbanism projects, usually graduate from a preview of what is to come to the featured floating gardens in the permanent project stage. A benefit that adds value to TerraCast planters is the ability to transform the planters utilized as lightweight options in the early stages to heavier permanent structures during the final implementation stage. Complimented with concrete blocks, tables, and chairs, the planters offer flexibility, as they can be filled with soil and/or rocks for a more standard-weight, permanent application. Additionally, they are both durable and aesthetically versatile, making them suitable for long-term use. These planters are capable of withstanding environmental stressors and can retain their visual appeal over time, making them a valuable asset in permanent urban landscapes.

Choose A Terracast Product

A combination of innovative technology of resin based planters, with a design that meets functionality and style. We provide you with all of the elements needed to beautify your area with our top of the line planters.

  • Quick Installation

    They do not require heavy equipment for installation, minimizing road closures.

  • No Maintenance

    Our non-porous Resin will never stain, discolor, rust, corrode, pit, chip, crack or crumble. It’s even graffiti-resistant!

  • Flexible Application

    Incorporate a false bottom for temporary projects or fill the pot completely with soil and/or the bottom with rocks for a permanent application.

  • Easy To Clean

    Most stains and buildup can be quickly removed with pressure washing, leaving the planters looking new.

  • Unmatched Durability

    LLDPE Resin is strong enough to take a beating and flexible enough to absorb the impact without breaking.

  • Short and Long-Term Use

    The planters are lightweight yet durable, making them ideal for all phases, from temporary (1 year) to long-term (5+ years) projects.

TerraCast Products' LLDPE resin planters offer a versatile and cost-effective solution for tactical urbanism projects at every stage of development. From short-lived demonstrations to long-term permanent installations, these planters provide durability, flexibility, and aesthetic enhancement, contributing to the creation of vibrant and resilient urban environments. By integrating TerraCast planters into urban revitalization initiatives, cities can achieve their goals of enhancing safety, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, ultimately creating more livable and sustainable communities. 

Tactical Urbanism Projects

See past projects featuring TerraCast planters! Many of these projects had positive impacts and resulted in long-term changes. TerraCast planters continued to beautify the streets even after temporary projects ended.

New York City

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in collaboration with...

See Installation

Sunset Triangle Plaza

As part of the People St initiative by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation...

See Installation

Baltimore Crossing

The five-way intersection has been raising concerns for being a potentially...

See Installation

Washington DC

Just like in the first half of the 19th century, when 7th Street became an...

See Installation

Santa Barbara

As part of the emergency response to the pandemic, the City of Santa Barbara...

See Installation

Newburyport, MA

The City of Newburyport, MA, was searching for a more aesthetically pleasing...

See Installation

Tucson, AZ

A non-profit organization based in Tucson AZ initiated a transformative project...

See Installation

Arlington, VA

A lively "pop-up plaza" was completed in just two days to give the community a...

See Installation


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