Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Another temporary urbanism project... in Mt. Rainier, Maryland

I forgot to include this as part of the previous entry, so it gets its own. I like the idea of doing a district, rather than one building.

From the Neighborhood Design Center:

Mount Rainier Better Block Project

April 9, 12noon - 6pm

Join us, and hundreds of community members and partners, as we turn a half-vacant commercial block in Mount Rainier into a vibrant "Main Street" with outdoor cafes, performers, local vendors, and art installations. The goal of the project is to show the economic potential of 34th Street while energizing the community. The event is inspired by the Better Block Project in Oak Cliff, Texas.

We are looking for volunteers, vendors, artists, and performers for the event. For more information visit our Events page, Better Block Facebook page, or contact John Flippo at 301-779-6010.

- "Next up for Better Block in TX: A plaza" from Cooltown Studios

Other fellow traveler improvement initiatives are

- Parking Day initiated by San Francisco's Re:bar Collective
- City Repair(Portland)
- City Repair Seattle

Again, a big factor in reanimating space has to do with the cost of the space--it's all about the rents and what you can do and what you can't. In DC, commercial rents are so high even in low-in-demand areas that the ability to innovate at the level of a neighborhood commercial district is often crippled.

But there are still ways to be creative.
Parking Day in St. Louis, 2008
Parking Day in St. Louis, 2008. Original source unknown.

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