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Jacksonville Landing Invites Art Walk Attendees To Stay A While On 'Front Porch'

FRONTPORCH.jpg
The Jacksonville Landing
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This Wednesday, the Jacksonville Landing’s front steps will transform into a “front porch” during the downtown's monthly evening Art Walk.

The Landing is packing the space with 23 vendors, a full bar, games and art tents.

The pop-up party is part of a national movement called “tactical urbanism.”

Jacksonville Landing spokeswoman Samantha Ashcraft was going over Wednesday’s plans with her marketing assistant Monday morning. 

Ashcraft says it’s been difficult for the Landing to attract foot traffic during downtown Art Walks. So it’s time for a new approach. 

“With TransForm Jax, we came up with the tactical urbanism to appeal to the different people of downtown,” she says.

With large-scale remodeling rumors' never going beyond chatter and tenants like the Maritime Museum's closing up shop, the Landing is struggling to draw regular crowds. 

Urban advocacy groups TransForm Jax and Downtown Vision suggested testing concepts using a method known as tactical urbanism, Ashcraft says. 

Jacksonville University geography Professor Ashley Johnson says it’s a low-risk way for cities to get a community’s input on repurposing space.

“Tactical urbanism typically is defined as, just, tactics used to improve the urban environment. So, for the most part they’re temporary. They’re small scale. They’re typically a grassroots effort,” she says.

Johnson says examples of tactical urbanism run the gamut from urban gardens,  to art installations and pocket parks. All are sustainable ways to revitalize unused space.

No word yet on whether the landing’s "Front Porch" will become a permanent fixture.