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How a tough neighborhood is building a stronger future with vivid public art

How a tough neighborhood is building a stronger future with vivid public art | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

A thriving inner-city cultural environment contributes to a healthy economic and social environment, which in turn produces significant benefits to the things we value in our natural environment: this is because the most effective antidote to the kind of sprawling outward development that has consumed our landscape, polluted our waterways and escalated harmful emissions across the US over the past half-century is a strengthening of our existing communities.


We particularly need our inner cities to be the kinds of places that will be loved and will endure – that will literally be sustained - over time. The human ecosystem is complex and, while making it healthy also requires a lot of things besides art, a holistic approach to placemaking that includes a key role for culture – especially homegrown culture – is essential.

That is exactly what Philly Painting is doing. To date, it is the most ambitious of many great projects sponsored by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, the nation's largest initiative of its kind. Since 1984, the program has created over 3,000 murals and works of public art in the city, engaging over 100 communities each year in the process, according to its website. Mural Arts also sponsors free art education programs for youth, especially at-risk teens and, impressively,provides jobs to adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, “using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.” If you are as interested in this sort of thing as I am, you’ll enjoy the program’s website, especially its sections on the program’s history and emphasis on community engagement.


Via Lauren Moss
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Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community

Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

Reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change.

Advocates from different movements are reaching across aisles to form broader coalitions. While we all fight for different causes that stir our individual passions, many change agents are recognizing that it is the common ground we share—both physically and philosophically—that brings us together, reinforces the basic truths of our human rights, and engenders the sense of belonging and community that leads to true solidarity.

Even when we disagree with our neighbors, we still share at least one thing with them: place. Our public spaces—from our parks to our markets to our streets—are where we learn about each other, and take part in the interactions, exchanges, and rituals that together comprise local culture.


Read the complete article for more on the ideas and strategies that positively contribute to our public spaces and enhance interpersonal connections, economic opportunity and placemaking.


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10 Ways to Improve Your City through Public Space

10 Ways to Improve Your City through Public Space | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

Public spaces are increasingly being recognized as a crucial ingredient for successful cities, and for their ability to revitalize and create economic and social development opportunities.


Actually finding ways to build and maintain healthy public space remains elusive to many municipal governments, especially in the developing world. The vast web of streets, parks, plazas, and courtyards that define public space is often lacking, poorly planned, or without adequate citizen participation in the design process.
Recognizing these challenges, the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) released earlier this month a draft of their handbook Placemaking and the Future of Cities. It’s intended to serve as a best practices guide for those wishing to improve the economic, environmental and social health of their communities through the power of successful public space.


10 fundamental principles for placemaking have been identified by PPS as the keys to vibrant, safe, and attractive public spaces:


1. Improve Streets as Public Spaces
2. Create Squares and Parks as Multi-Use Destinations

3. Build Local Economies Through Markets

4. Design Buildings to Support Places

5. Link a Public Health Agenda to a Public Space Agenda

6. Reinvent Community Planning

7. Power of 10

8. Create a Comprehensive Public Space Agenda

9. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Start Small, Experiment

10. Restructure Government to Support Public Spaces

 

Read the complete article for more on developing a positive public realm through the use of local resources, citizen participation, and strategic approaches to urban development...


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What Makes a Great Public Destination?

What Makes a Great Public Destination? | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

In a recent blog post, entrepreneur-turned-VC Mark Suster wrote about the necessary ingredients for a city trying o develop a successful start-up community. His advice seemed applicable to any community that’s trying to create a strong local sense of place, so we’ve retrofitted his recommendations to speak broadly to people who are working to transform their public spaces into magnetic destinations that are reflective of the diverse communities that surround them.


Stop by and read the complete article for details on the elements of great public spaces, including:

place capitaleventsaccess to advocateslocal press + organizational toolsplacemakersflagship public space
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Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it
S, M, L, or XL-sized metropolitan agriculture? Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Mia Lehrer + Associates, said one size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to cities, in a session at the ASLA 2012 Annual Meeting.

In an era where it seems like any school or community can start a garden, perhaps it’s time to step back and think about the bigger picture. What’s the goal? Lehrer thinks it’s comprehensive urban agricultural systems that are relevant to the unique cultural, social, and environmental conditions of a city. Metro-region agriculture, if planned, designed, and supported financially, can address issues related to social equity and health issues like diabetes and obesity, while building regional agricultural communities and economies.

The article discusses urban agriculture at varying scales, from the city to rural communities; this is because the footprint of any city really reaches far beyond the core — to the edges, to the suburban and rural communities and economies that make the whole metropolis work.


For more on this analysis of urban agriculture and how to best plan, develop and provide infrastructure for successful and sustainable revitaliztion projects that not only boost the local economy, but community health, read the complete article. Also included are links to resources, programs, and initiatives related to metropolitan agriculture.


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