TLC DiagramTactical Urbanism Before and After

Downtown Rockford Strategic Action Plan

Date: 2015

Client: City of Rockford

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Farr Associates worked with the City of Rockford to create a Downtown Strategic Action Plan that amalgamates the goals and recommendations of multiple planning efforts in the area over the past decade. The results of these prior plans, focused on issues like adding downtown housing, linking open space, and improving mobility choices, often resulted in recommendations that were resource intensive, investment heavy, and had time lines of 15-20 years.

The Strategic Action Plan takes these previ­ously conceived recommendations, refines them, and focuses on phases of implementation through a ‘TLC’ approach.

A T[actical], L[ean], C[limax] approach proposes shorter-term implementation tactics that ulti­mately lead to high-investment climax conditions. This approach allows for testing through pro­totypes, and more immediate results that lead to incremental, but impactful development. The implementation strategies are subdivided into TLC strategies that take a larger goal and show how to bring it to fruition through short, mid, and long-term steps.

Even before the planning process ended, energized organizations, citizens, and an eager City imple­mented some of the tactics proposed by Strategic Action Plan. Temporary bike/pedestrian shared-use space was installed with planters and bollards on the State Street Bridge and tested from May to August in 2015. A new event series, Shop the Blocks, was add­ed by the City of Rockford and held three times over the summer of 2015. Elements included temporary parklets in parking spaces, parklets in parking lots, pop-up shops, and outdoor dining and retail sales.