Planning-By-Doing Workshop

How do you connect neighbors, designers, and artists together to solve public space challenges and co-create a roadmap for short-term projects that lead to long-term change?


Placemaking doesn’t just happen: it’s a process that happens over many conversations and projects. In the Glass Farm community, past visioning efforts often fell short of true follow-through — leading to scepticism of the process. But what if a visioning effort had next steps built in? The Planning By Doing Workshop was developed to create tangible plans and teams of owners to implement tactical urbanism projects that make Glass Street cleaner, safer and more inviting.


Create a workshop for neighbors, designers and artists to work together and develop specific, actionable, Glass-Street-specific projects. Further, support these “planners” with financial backing to help them work in teams and bring their projects to life.


In the Fall 2020, Glass House Collective hosted a charrette style workshop coined Planning by Doing, where five teams of artists, designers, community members and other stakeholders worked together to envision and implement tactical interventions across the “Glass Street Gateway,” the intersection where Glass Street meets Dodson Avenue.

The purpose of the Planning by Doing Workshops was to involve residents in the future of their neighborhood through their personal connection to public safety enhancements and projects that make the area more inviting. Importantly, the workshops also sought to connect residents with the area’s social assets — from Hardy Elementary School, to the East Chattanooga Youth and Family Development Center (YFD), to the new Save-A-Lot grocery store. 

Each team focused on a different community priority previously identified through community engagement efforts, from beautification to safe routes to community gathering spaces. Teams conducted project brainstorming sessions, refinements, and public presentations. And finally, each was given a $3,000 budget to implement at least one of their intervention ideas.


Crutchfield Asphalt Art

A block-long mural created in partnership with local artists to celebrate the area’s new Save A Lot grocery store and create a bright sense of place at the literal street level.

YFD Safe Routes Team

Creating a Walk of Fame near the area’s Youth and Family Development Center to encourage use of the sidewalk, designed by local students honoring the area and its heroes. In addition to the safe route element, an outside art gallery is on display along the nearby fence, featuring work from Hardy Elementary’s art students.

Hardy Safe Walk Team

From wheatpasting to yarn art, this project answered the requests of local parents and teachers and installed creative interventions that help slow down traffic and mark safe walking routes for Hardy Elementary students.

Gathering Spaces Team 

Celebrating a community anchor by creating seating areas and gathering places in front of the new Save A Lot. Beautification projects make the area more inviting for all.

Homebase Team

A gateway art installation that features quotes and ambitions from the community, helping bring the lived experience of Glass Street residents to the street itself.


Glass House Collective

Chattanooga Design Studio

AIA Chattanooga

Street Plans 

Lyndhurst Foundation