Tactical urbanism: pub crawl in Jacksonville's Downtown and King Street district

The crawl continues to validate that properly planned urban events have the ability to create crowds and synergy that help expose and breathe life back into the urban core.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tactical urbanism is a movement focused on re-energizing small, local areas. While city planners and developers try to make sweeping, impactful changes through large-scale design and construction, tactical urbanism seeks to make changes one sidewalk, one street corner, one block at a time. And the results can be exciting, witty, successful, and extremely affordable.


The Metro Jacksonville Downtown Riverside Pub Crawl is a local example of tactical urbanism. Accepting that large-scale projects to encourage vibrancy may take years to implement, the crawl is an instant solution to stimulating and exposing Jacksonville's dynamic urban core. Though temporary in nature, this event reflects what permanent, human-centered changes could look like with simple coordination and regularly scheduled events that expose areas of Downtown to people from in and around Jacksonville proper.  The change lies in creating events that rejuvenate the urban core's hidden gems and drawing people to those areas.

Tactical Urbanism has the five following characteristics:

1. A deliberate, phased approach to instigating change
2. The offering of local solutions for local planning challenges
3. Short-term commitment and realistic expectations
4. Low-risks, with possibly a high reward
5. The development of social capital between citizens and the building of organizational capacity between public-private institutions, non-profits and their constituents.

The next scheduled pub crawl, which will include additional venues, will be held on November 30, 2012. Tickets are available now.


This past pub crawl, on November 2, went through the Riverside/Downtown area and the King Street district.  There was a $15 admission, which entitled guests to two free drink tickets, free cover at all participating venues, and complimentary trolley transportation between stops.  The evening went as follows:

5:30-7:00 Check-in and pre-party at the Landing OR Riverside's The Garage.

7:40-8:20 Underbelly

8:20-9:00 Marks

9:00-9:40 Kala

9:50-10:30 The Loft

10:45-11:15 Rogue

11:15-12:00 The Garage


Article by Ennis Davis.  Edited by Kelsi Hasden. Photographs by Luis Rivera.  

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