Quick Build Project Guide


Photograph of children biking along a quick-build bicycle lane.

Quick builds are flexible, temporary projects that let people test drive infrastructure changes that could create safer, more livable public spaces. From crosswalks to bike lanes to parklets, quick build projects help communities show the positive impacts of new ideas.

Ready to get started? Fill out an interest form. Otherwise, read on!

What is a Quick Build Project?

Quick build projects are flexible, low-cost installations meant to advance long-term community goals for safer, more inviting public spaces.

Making the streets where people live, work, and play safer and more livable is an increasing concern for communities. People want streets that are safe to walk and bike along, offer places to meet people, link neighborhoods, and have a vibrant mix of uses to promote convenience and accessibility.

Traditional capital projects can be resource and time intensive, often resulting in delays. The quick build method lets cities and communities test and implement improvements on a faster timeline with less effort and at a lower cost.

Quick build interventions, also known as “tactical urbanism,” help demonstrate the positive impacts and potential of new ideas. These 'proof-of-concept' projects have been used across the country to gauge support from residents and the general public for a longer-term project or city policy.

They also send a message that change is possible by unleashing creativity to meet community desires and needs.

What can a quick build project do?

  • Fill gaps in the walking or biking network before implementing a permanent capital improvement project
  • Build support in communities for new or unfamiliar projects
  • Provide data on project outcomes to help shape future policy and improve street design
  • Increase collaboration between communities, internal departments, and other partners
  • Allow experimentation with safety designs, project types, and materials prior to further investment
  • Increase understanding of active transportation needs in the community

Program Goals

The City of Orlando has developed this guide to provide information on how, where, when and why to implement quick build projects. By making it easier for the city to implement safety improvements and for communities to recommend changes to their streets, this guide supports the city’s commitment to Vision Zero and increasing choice and comfort for all people.

The quick build process allows community members and decision-makers to experience new and unfamiliar designs that might sound too confusing, too radical or too disruptive to existing traffic patterns, before committing to making them permanent.

Quick build projects will address unique needs for each community based on its roadway and land use context, who lives and works in the area, and how people move around. Regardless of these existing factors, all quick build projects should fulfill at least one of the following goals:

  1. Increase safety by slowing speeds, calming traffic, or reducing conflicts between users at intersections. Make our streets safer for all users.
  2. Invite public use by increasing green or public space, adding plantings or landscaping, introducing public art, or providing seating or shade. Enhance community aesthetics and sense of place for a stronger local identity.
  3. Improve business by increasing local foot traffic, enabling biking and walking connections, or providing additional seating. Support a stronger local economy within our city.
  4. Improve travel options by increasing access to transit or providing new safe and comfortable walking and biking routes. Balance mobility and access to ensure convenient choices for everyone.

Each step in the quick build process should tie back to these goals, from selecting project type and location to choosing evaluation and outreach methods. 

As you read on, consider the neighborhood where you live or work, or where you focus your efforts as a city employee. Think about which of these goals you’d like to accomplish, and how quick build could help you get there.

Project Types

The following toolbox is intended to be used by city staff and community members to determine the most appropriate project to address local needs and quick build program goals

The project types catalogued here are associated with program goals to help stakeholders quickly identify the most relevant design elements for their needs. 

There may be many project types that address a safety need; the challenges and opportunities of local contexts should guide the ultimate selection of a design element and project implementation.



Ready to start your project? Express Interest

How to Get Started

Is there a need in your community that is ready to be sparked into action? Read on to learn the keys to quick build success.

All projects will undergo a screening by the Transportation Department to determine if the proposal fits within the quick build program goals or another city program. Once a project is screened, a strategy session will be scheduled to discuss next steps.

  • Interest Form Submission
  • Transportation Department Screening
  • Strategy Session  





  • Continue Outreach
  • Collect “After” Data (1 – 2 weeks after removal)
  • Evaluate
  • Project Debrief (1 – 2 months after removal)


Step 1: Imagine

A. Develop Your Project Idea

Start by asking yourself the eligibility questions below and identifying a project site. If your project sounds like a match for the city’s quick build program, fill out our Interest Form.

Can I sponsor a quick build project?

Quick build project ideas can be submitted by the following groups: 

  • Transportation Department or other city departments
  • Neighborhood groups or organizations
  • Local businesses or organized business associations
  • Schools or school districts
  • Community-based organizations
  • Community event organizers
  • Non-profits or advocacy organizations
  • Regional and statewide planning and transportation groups
  • Micromobility companies, including bike and scooter share
  • Transit agencies

Is my project a good candidate for the quick build program?

If your project site features some or all of the following characteristics, it is likely a good candidate for the quick build program:

  • In a residential neighborhood, downtown business district, main street, or other area with a posted speed of 35 mph or less
  • Has high walking, biking, and/or transit activity or potential for theseIs close to community amenities or destinations including schools
  • Uncomfortable for people walking or on bikes
  • Has wiggle room or excess right-of-way currently being used for on-street parking, street shoulders, wide travel lanes, existing bicycle infrastructure, and/or green space that allow for some repurposing without encroaching on private property
  • A quick build project would not substantially interfere with existing driveways, transit routes, emergency access, or ongoing construction projectsAlso used for existing celebrations or events
  • Might benefit from aesthetically pleasing designs or artistic elements

Does my project meet a need and is there data to support this?

To understand if your project will support the goals of the quick build program, consider doing the following:

  • Make site observations at different times of day (commuting hours, drop-off/pickup time at school, weekends, etc.) or review/conduct formal traffic counts if possible
  • Talk to neighbors, business owners, the local crossing guard and others who are familiar with the site
  • Look for publicly available data, news articles, or information on the City of Orlando website or other trusted sources
  • Consider surveying the experiences and perceptions of people living, working, and traveling through the area

Who are my project partners?

Successful quick build projects often feature strong partnerships. When proposing a project, consider including the following:

  • Those who can provide resources—whether it be community insight, access to volunteers, financial sponsorship, public support, in-kind donations, labor, expertise, or other
  • Champions, leaders and advocates who have the community’s pulse and trust to facilitate the necessary buy-in that ensures a project’s success

Does my project allow for emergency and utility access?

Projects must maintain access to public utilities and fire hydrants. Projects that modify turning radii or road width shall be reviewed by the Fire Department to ensure proper building access and emergency response needs. Projects in the vicinity of parks must accommodate load-in needs for events, either by using removable barriers or positioning barriers so they do not block loading areas.

Does my project comply with existing guidance?

Quick build projects in the City of Orlando, including those that may use federal funding, should follow the street and roadway design guidance included in the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide. The information in this guide is intended to supplement the design guidance provided there. 

NACTO standards are compliant with, but not a substitute for, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD). All projects should consider how ADA accessibility can be maintained throughout project installation, as part of the project design, and across outreach activities. The project manager assigned by the city will review and certify that design is consistent with the above guidance. 



B. Transportation Screening

The Transportation Department staff will screen responses to the interest form to assess project readiness based on the following factors:

  • Close to schools, parks, or other community destinations
  • Close to businesses, public amenities, or a Main Streets district
  • Close to a transit stop(s)
  • Observed speeding
  • History of crashes
  • Underutilized on-street parking
  • High volumes of people walking or biking
  • Relation to existing planning processes, including the Orlando Bicycle Plan
  • Opportunities for partnership with local organizations
  • Opportunities to increase transportation equity
  • Opportunities for scaling project up or making it permanent over time
  • Project Risk

C. Strategy Session

A Transportation Department representative will reach out to schedule a strategy session, during which you’ll discuss your project’s goals and vision. At the end of this meeting, the Transportation Department representative will either:

  • Accept your project idea, determine next steps, and assign responsible parties;
  • Refer you to another existing city program; or
  • Determine the project does not qualify for the quick build program.

    Step 2: Plan

    Once a quick build project idea is accepted, it moves into the planning phase under the guidance and direction of a city project manager. The project sponsor will work in partnership with the city project manager to bring the project to fruition in a collaborative and positive way.  

    Step 3: Build

    Time to get the project off the ground! At this stage, the installation plan will be followed to install the project elements. If desired, a project opening or inauguration event can be planned for the day or week of installation.

    A. Maintain the Project

    • Consider ways to prevent vandalism or theft during installation

    • Determine maintenance partners and methods for communicating maintenance needs

    • Perform routine maintenance checks at least once a month and especially after weather events such as high heat and/or significant rain

    • Replace barriers or refresh markings as needed throughout the lifespan of the project

    Due to the nature of the materials used, quick build projects often require more frequent maintenance than typical capital projects. Pilot project sites should be assessed for any routine maintenance needs at least once a month. Particular attention should be paid to areas frequently traversed by vehicle tires, the stability of vertical barriers separating people walking and biking from vehicles and plantings. 

    During the summer months, more frequent upkeep and maintenance may be required as consistent heat and rain can affect the integrity of many materials. For projects that include street furniture or other placemaking elements, consider ways to anchor or lock items in place to avoid vandalism or theft. Coordinating some of the maintenance responsibilities with adjacent businesses or partnering association should be explored.

    While the city will be responsible for replacing damaged materials, refreshing pavement markings, and regular street sweeping, it is expected that community partners bear some responsibility for monitoring the project site, maintaining any plantings or artistic elements, and communicating additional maintenance needs to the city.

    B. Continue Outreach

    Outreach immediately leading up to and during project implementation will ensure a smooth transition for the neighboring community, successful project upkeep, and the ability to quickly identify and respond to concerns. 

    To maintain a healthy partnership between the city and the community, outreach at this time should be coordinated and shared with the community champion. This will also ensure a better chance at reaching more stakeholders and develop a sense of ownership by community members.

    The day or days following installation can serve as an opportunity to host an outreach-focused event, such as a project opening or inauguration. This provides an opportunity for the city to communicate directly with the users of the project space and to explain project elements in real time and space. 

    For pedestrians with visual or mobility impairments, this event can also serve as a touchpoint for learning how to navigate the new installation safely. Communication around this event, if such an event is to be held, must begin prior to installation, ideally with one to three weeks’ notice.

    Key Outreach Activities During Project Build Out

    • Communicate early (at least one week ahead of installation) with people who live in and move through the project area that changes are coming which will affect the way they use the street, sidewalk or bicycle lane.

    • Notify nearby businesses or property owners, transit agencies, schools, emergency services, waste disposal services, and postal service of the upcoming project.

    • Consider posting materials along roadways leading up to the project area as well as at the proposed project site. For more complex projects which may significantly change the use of the space, such as a temporary roundabout, consider hosting a demonstration project first to actively educate people or allow key stakeholders, such as emergency services, to test the design.

    • Advertise temporary closures, detours or traffic control (during project installation and/or the lifetime of the project).

    • Develop a project website or flyer including a description of the project benefits, extents, frequently asked questions (FAQ) and timeline as well as a point of contact at the city and in the community for questions or concerns.

    • Educate users on how to use the new facility (if applicable) and how they are intended to interact in the project space.

    • If necessary, seek feedback directly from stakeholders or via a survey  following project implementation to compare against earlier data points. Online surveys have proven to be very effective but surveys can also be conducted in-person. (see evaluation).

    Step 4: Transition

    • Communicate the upcoming project removal or next steps to relevant stakeholders and neighbors

    • Remove project elements and restore site to previous state or maintain project if remaining as RAPID installation

    • Complete evaluation by reviewing and comparing before and after data

    • Reflect on and record lessons learned

    Once a project has reached its intended duration, it will typically be removed and the project site will be returned to its former condition. The city will conduct a project debrief to consider lessons learned and the potential for the project to transition to either a RAPID or long-term capital project. 

    Continue Outreach

    Preparing for project transition requires the continuation of outreach and communication to key stakeholders. Depending on the next steps for the project, this could include communicating how the project site will change after the project is removed or how the project will evolve in the future.

    Following project removal and the evaluation period, publicize the results of key lessons learned and insights from data collection within city departments as well as with stakeholders and elected officials. Even if a project does not go exactly as planned, lessons learned are critical to improving future efforts and sustaining an effective quick build program. Sharing these insights within one to two months of project removal is most effective.

    Key Outreach Activities During Project Transition

    • Advertise temporary closures, detours, or traffic control (during project removal).

    • Communicate how the removal of the project will change how users interact in the space.

    • Explain what’s next. What, if any, permanent project may be coming behind the project removal? 

    • Solicit feedback from project partners including the community champion, other project team members, and community members.

    • Recap the project highlights with photos, reflections, summarized feedback, or lessons learned.

    • Share evaluation insights and lessons learned

    Learn from Evaluation

    Conducting evaluation is one of the best ways to learn key lessons from quick build implementation. Once before and after data has been collected, it is important to take the time to analyze the results and begin to find and interpret patterns or changes. While there is always the potential for outside influences to affect some data points, important conclusions about the impacts of quick builds project can be drawn by comparing across several metrics. These conclusions and lessons learned can then be used to inform the design and implementation of future quick build projects.

    Take Time to Reflect

    Following the conclusion of a project, the project manager will host a project debrief meeting with the team. This is an opportunity for the project team to share feedback on the project, discuss lessons learned, review evaluation results, and determine next steps for the project. A summary of the debrief meeting and outcomes should be added to the project package for record keeping.


    Long-Term Success

    After you’ve built the project, what comes next? Putting key things in place from the start can make it easier to achieve your long-term goals. Learn how maintenance, evaluating your project’s success, and continuously reaching out to supporters can give your project legs that will carry it far into the future.