Alt Text

Times Square is by no means disinvested, but it's the site of the first really iconic Tactical Urbanism intervention, and Tactical Urbanism tools are the original basis of Tool-Tagging.


Tool-Tagging is an alternative planning process designed for places too disinvested to be able to afford a traditional planning process, and calibrated as a mashup of skills in the native tongue of the young. We have long said that planning is for the young because only they will live long enough to see the plan mature. Tool-Tagging goes one step further, and is designed to be run mostly by young people, down to high schoolers or maybe even middle schoolers. A tiny team of New Urbanists (maybe just one person) would act as an advisor or coach to the youthful design team.

Tool-Tagging is composed of two elements: the tools and the geotags locating them. Tools are very brief descriptions of a single urban component, such as a parklet or food cart pod. The description is essentially an algorithm: “do this, next do this, then do this,” each expressed in tweet-length of 280 characters or less. Tools are linked to related tools with hashtags, as on Instagram. Each tool contains a concise illustration of the tool’s finished product, and a summary of what’s required to produce it. Tools could either be printed and used analog or accessible on an app, where the links would be live.

Tools would be geotagged as needed on a plan of the subject area, which also could be either paper or digital. The one act of conventional New Urbanist planning would be for the coach to create a Transect-based regulating plan before the process begins.

Tool-Tagging versus traditional New Urbanist planning is analogous to stock house plans versus custom design. The great economy of Tool-Tagging is that unlike the custom design where each component is painstakingly drawn, the tool is only drawn once in the beginning but used countless times over the years. All current tools were developed by our Tactical Urbanism colleagues, so Tool-Tagging can be thought of as a very lean process for planning where Tactical Urbanism interventions should occur across a wide area, from the scale of a neighborhood to the scale of a town.

Search the Original Green Site
Buy the Original Green book on Amazon
Stacks Image 464_4_56
Rather Buy Indie?

Contact Sundog Books at Seaside, which is our favorite bookstore ever!


I speak on the Original Green across the US and abroad. Would you like for me to speak (via Zoom these days) at your next event?

Stacks Image 464_4_53
Got an idea?

If you have an idea for a story, or know about work we need to feature...


... to receive periodic Original Green news releases. Here's our full Privacy Policy, where you'll see that we will not share your info with anyone else, nor will we sell it to anyone. All three fields required.

Nourishable Accessible Serviceable Securable Lovable Durable Adaptable Frugal Education Economy Culture Wellness
Original Green Scorecard Initiatives Presentations Reading List Quotes Links Tweetroll
Media Room
Bios Press Speaking

© 2021 Mouzon Design, Inc.