Urban park from parking lot: Tactical Urbanism in Ithaca

Pop-Up Park at Press Bay Court is a temporary park installation in the former parking lot at 114 West Green Street, Ithaca between Press Bay Alley and the former McNeil Music/Ithaca Photo building. The park opened on September 29, 2017 and will close on October 30, 2017 (Wizarding Weekend).  The park will evolve and change over the month as we explore and try different things.

Pop-Up Park is the first step in permanent conversion of the former parking lot into an urban outdoor space providing delight to the Ithaca community and serving the adjacent businesses. The temporary nature of the park lets us explore many possibilities, hear the ideas and reactions of many people, and ultimately, we hope, provide a setting that is better and richer than if it were designed and built in a more conventional process.


YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS CRITICAL! What do you like or dislike about the park? What do you think works well or not so well? What ideas do you have for the park? How would you like to be able to use the park? What other examples do you know of that we should know about? Share your thoughts using the “Pop Up Park Suggestion/IDEA Box” link at the top of the PressBayAlley.com website. Every idea can’t become reality, of course. But every idea helps make the end result better.


Pop Up Park at Press Bay Court is another project of Urban Core LLC, the Ithaca developer of award-winning Press Bay Alley. It continues our efforts to operate a responsible, community-engaged, inclusive business that adds to the vitality and resilience of Downtown Ithaca and brings delight peoples’ daily lives.

Pop Up Park at Press Bay Court is entirely privately funded.

The park is located between the former McNeil Music/Ithaca Photo building and the former Ithaca Journal Press Bay, now home to Life’s So Sweet Chocolates. DP Dough (the best calzones you’ll ever eat) is located on the park, as was the previous location of Ithaca’s legendary Haunt nightclub.


The buildings surrounding Pop-Up Park will continue the Ithaca-community-based development that is reflected in Press Bay Alley. The former McNeil Music/Ithaca Photo is planned to house a number of micro-retail, small office, hospitality, and light manufacturing businesses on the first floor. We’re delighted to be working with D.P.Dough to continue their


What is “Tactical Urbanism”?

“Tactical Urbanism” describes a process of “short term action for long-term change”.

Temporary, low-cost interventions (frequently citizen or community-led) are made to experiment with changes in the urban environment with the intent to expedite permanent changes to improve neighborhoods and the urban environment.

The goal is to respond to community-level issues, utilize community-level knowledge, and expedite the often slow and “say ‘no’ first” process of urban planning and change with a “let’s try it” attitude.

As described by Mike Lydon, who spoke in Ithaca in September, 2017, in his book Tactical Urbanist’s Guide :



Wikipedia entry:



Tactical Urbanism 2: Short Term Action, Long Term Change (Street Plans Collaborative/Mike Lydon)



Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design (Street Plans Collaborative)



Burlington, VT Policy Guide for tactical urbanism projects:



Please visit, enjoy, and share your thoughts to help shape the PERMANENT PARK.

Use the “Pop Up Park Suggestion/IDEA Box” link at the top of the PressBayAlley.com home page.