Guerilla Urbanism: A Guide to Bottom-Up Activism in Urban Spaces




Wilson, Evan

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My research explores the rise of guerilla urbanism in the United States, and how it is correlated with an increase in neoliberal planning practices. Guerilla urbanism is defined in this context as the practice of citizens reclaiming the public realm by enacting change that immediately improves areas neglected by local governments. Guerilla urbanism relies on relatively cheap resources and high accessibility for all who wish to participate. Examples of this include painting crosswalks, putting traffic cones in the street, pop-up benches, DIY bike racks, and guerilla gardening. My research analyzes what specific factors necessitate the need for guerilla urbanism. I hypothesize that the rise in neoliberal planning policies (privatization of land, planning for capital rather than people, and lack of government responsibility) create massive inequalities in urban spaces. The built environment of the United States needs change, and that change is largely being left up to individuals who wish to make their community safer. The entire existence of guerilla urbanism reflects the many ways in which planning policies in the United States have failed to reach the needs of everyone.



guerilla urbanism, tactical urbanism, bottom-up urbanism, urban planning, neoliberalism, Honors College


Wilson, E. (2022). Guerilla urbanism: A guide to bottom-up activism in urban spaces (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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