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Innovations in the Public Realm (Open Streets / Slow Streets / Streateries)

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How do you move your city outdoors in a matter of weeks, especially in the midst of a life-changing pandemic? Examples from Norfolk, Virginia, Farmers Branch, Texas, Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas and other locations, where engineers, planners, business owners and citizens have come together to meet the challenge of delivering services, opening the economy and staying sane during a pandemic will be presented. Speakers discuss examples of tactical urbanism projects local jurisdictions can use in the short-term to shift the prioritization of public space from vehicles to people.

Learning Objectives

  • Discover tactical urbanism projects in the District of Columbia that seek to reclaim and prioritize pedestrians and people, including Open Streets, Slow Streets, and Streateries
  • Identify quick build project delivery methods and cutting-edge temporary traffic control devices and materials.
  • Describe various street design approaches using temporary traffic control to maintain residential access, signal shared space and slow motor vehicle speeds
  • Explain how federal CARES Act funding was used and how future stimulus funds could harden existing temporary measures
  • Kim Vacca, Transportation Planner, District Department of Transportation
    • Reclaiming Public Space for People
  • Andrew Howard, Co-Founder, Team Better Block
    • How COVID-19 Accelerated the Need and Deployment of Open/Healthy/Slow Streets
  • Laura Dierenfield, Active Transportation Program Manager and Jesse Duncan, Engineering Associate, City of Austin, Texas
    • Austin’s Healthy Streets Program
PDH/CM Credits Available: 1.5
To earn your credits, you must view the session and complete the associated evaluation. Once your evaluation is completed, your certificate will be available in your ITE Learning Hub account.


  • Moderator: Patricia Tice, Principal, CREWS LLC

  • Kim Vacca, Transportation Planner, District Department of Transportation

    Kimberly Vacca is a transportation planner for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in the Neighborhood Planning Branch. Her work focuses on public space design, including development and public space review and implementing transformative tactical urbanism programs such as parklets, streateries, Park(ing) Day, and Open Streets. Prior to joining DDOT, Kimberly worked on land use policy and comprehensive planning projects in Arlington County, Virginia; San Jose, California, and throughout the state of Florida.

  • Andrew Howard, Co-Founder, Team Better Block

    When Andrew first began Team Better Block and started painting his own bike lanes he thought he might end up in jail or at-least be stripped of his planning certification. He now has achieved international awards for the firm’s work and has clients from industry leading organizations. Andrew is the principal of Team Better Block and one of the original founders of the Build a Better Block project. Alongside his neighbors he built the first two Better Blocks in Dallas, Texas and pioneered the idea of using pop up demonstrations as an urban planning method. Over the past eight years he and his team have refined how Better Block fits into community outreach, revitalization, complete streets and public space planning and design projects. Now having been used in over 150 communities from Sydney, Australia to Bethel, Vermont Better Block is seen as an alternative to the typical design and defend urban planning method of the past.

  • Laura Dierenfield, Active Transportation Program Manager

    Laura Dierenfield is the Division Manager of Austin Transportation Department’s Active Transportation and Street Design Division. ATSD’s focus is to make it feasible, fun and friendly to walk, scoot and bike in and around Austin, whether that trip is taking you to work, school, the store or to and from a bus or train stop. She brings 18 years of experience in transportation planning, public policy and community-based non-profit organizational leadership.

  • Jesse Duncan, Engineering Associate, City of Austin, Texas

    Jesse Duncan is a Street Designer with the Austin Transportation Department’s Active Transportation and Street Design Division. Austin’s street design team finds ways to make existing streets safer and more effective for the people using them with an ever-expanding toolbox of facilities that improve mobility and usability. Jesse has more than a decade of experience in multimodal transportation engineering and street design.

March 24, 2021
Wed 11:00 AM EDT

Duration 1H 30M

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