I worked with City Repair to organize the day of painting as one of the many place-making events going on around the city as part of the Village Builders Convergence. A lot of energy, time and money went into organizing, preparing and permitting the project. It was taxing. But in reflecting on the whole process I can’t deny the smile that turns up the corners of my mouth at the thought of all the gains.
What I want to point out, though, is that the greatest value is gained by whoever is most involved in the project. I guarantee I’ve benefitted the most out of everyone involved because I was involved throughout the entire process. From meetings with City Repair to meetings with PBOT, from neighborhood gatherings to going door-to-door to rally the neighbors, meeting almost 100 people on the 4 blocks around my house in a matter of weeks, getting to know those folks. If you hold yourself responsible for leading the charge on a neighborhood place-making project you gain the knowledge of every interaction with every neighbor. You learn the histories of those that preceded you. You gain the familiarity of innumerous new friends in your community.
I can’t recommend a more fruitful labor than doing a place-making project in your neighborhood. Work with your neighbors to make your neighborhood yours! Lead the charge if no one else does! You will reap the benefits.