green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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All Placemaking is Creative: How a Shared Focus on Place Builds Vibrant Destinations

All Placemaking is Creative: How a Shared Focus on Place Builds Vibrant Destinations | green streets |

Placemaking is a process, accessible to anyone, that allows peoples’ creativity to emerge. When open and inclusive, this process can be extraordinarily effective in making people feel attached to the places where they live. That makes people more likely to get involved and build shared wealth in their communities.

“Placemaking, applied correctly, can show us new ways to help cultures emerge where openness is not so scary,” notes Dr. Katherine Loflin, the lead project consultant for the Knight Foundation’s groundbreaking study, which showed a significant correlation between community attachment and economic growth. “We could find with consistency over time that it was the softer side of place—social offerings, openness, and aesthetics—that really seem to drive peoples’ attachment to their place. It wasn’t necessarily basic services: how well potholes got paved over. It wasn’t even necessarily for peoples’ personal economic circumstances.”

The study’s other key finding was that there is an empirical relationship between higher levels of attachment and cities’ GDP growth.

Placemaking, in other words, is a vital part of economic development. And yet, there has long been criticism that calls into question whether or not this process is actually helping communities to develop their local economies, or merely accelerating the process of gentrification in formerly-maligned urban core neighborhoods. We believe that this is largely due to confusion over what Placemaking is, and who “gets” to be involved. If Placemaking is project-led, development-led, design-led or artist-led, then it does likely lead to gentrification and a more limited set of community outcomes.

Read the complete article for more on the process of placemaking and the roles community members play in creating vibrant spaces...

Katharine Norman's curator insight, March 15, 2013 3:16 AM

Positive aspects from being connected to your community.


Jennifer Stencel's curator insight, July 3, 2015 12:47 PM

Libraries are an important fixture to create PLACE in their community. But are we doing it?

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Facebook for cities: A social network for building better neighborhoods

Facebook for cities: A social network for building better neighborhoods | green streets |
Neighborland, an online platform born from an experiment in street art, helps residents cook up smart ideas for improving their communities, then gives those ideas wings.

FB for cities?

What would you do if you had a million bucks to make your neighborhood better? Turn the vacant building up the street into a healthy corner store with cross-cultural appeal? Fund 24-hour bus service? Paint giant flowers on the asphalt in every intersection?

What if there was a tool that made it easy for you share your idea with neighbors, community groups, city planners — people who could pitch in to make it a reality?

That’s the idea behind Neighborland, a sort of collective online urban planning platform that grew from a project started by artist Candy Chang in 2010. Chang slapped nametag-style stickers reading “I WISH THIS WAS ___” on abandoned buildings around New Orleans. People answered by filling in the blanks with all sorts of things they’d like to see in their neighborhoods: a grocery store, a row of trees, a bakery — to which someone else responded, “If you can get the financing, I will do the baking!”

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