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.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Community building #2: Guardian Live Better Challenge

The Guardian Newspaper's Live Better Challenge is sponsored by Unilever, and based on some interesting research that the company did with UK households in working with them to foster more sustainable household behaviors and routines ("Inspiring sustainable behavior -- Unilever's interesting social research"), while saving money--in face of the belief that sustainability practices cost more, not less.

According to the website:
The Live Better Challenge is all about coming together to make a difference to our lives, and the world around us, through positive action. We will also be issuing seven challenges to you, each focused on an issue around how we live our lives: food waste, health, sustainable living and more. Each challenge is only for one week – any week that suits you – with different challenges each month.
Last week's challenge was "getting involved" in your community and the site featured stories about 17 different projects around the UK. Members of the challenge got to vote on their favorites, and the winners will receive small grants. The winners will be announced today.

This is the garden in the Battersea district of London, created by participants in the project numbered #16 listed below.  Guardian photo by David Levene.

All of the featured projects caught my attention, especially the "community repair shop" movement, because we bought a Kitchen Aid mixer from friends who were moving--partly as a favor, but we also have been thinking about getting one--and it turns out that the mixer locking mechanism isn't locking.

1. Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm in Suffolk
A community supported agriculture project aiming to move beyond fossil fuel and keep its members well fed.

2. Broken Spoke Bike Co-op in Oxford

The bicycle repair group teaching essential repair skills and giving disadvantaged people the tools for employment.

3. Hulme Community Garden Centre in Manchester

Once a wasteland, this community garden centre is a fruitful learning and therapeutic resource for inner-city Manchester

4. Kilfinan Community Forest in Argyll, Scotland

A community-owned forest teaching locals sustainability, forestry and woodworking skills

5. The Pig Society in Tamar, Cornwall

A community group collectively raising nine pigs to make sausages, save money, and cut out the food miles.

6. Operation Owl in Woking, Surrey

A local conservation group providing homes for owls and other threatened birds of prey.

7. Friends and Neighbours Community Alliance in Neath Port Talbot, Wales

A neighbourhood group hosting community events and changing the fortunes of a deprived area.

8. Palace Pint in Crystal Palace, London

A community hops-growing group making their own beer.

9. St Vincent's School in Liverpool

Children at a school for the blind and partially-sighted fundraising for solar panels through music.

10. Leeds Community Clothing Exchange in Leeds

A local clothes swap bringing fashion bargains and cutting down on clothes waste through vibrant social events.

11. BeeUrban in Kennington, London

A community group training the next generation of beekeepers and providing habitats for the capital's honeybees.

12. Llandrindod Repair Cafe in Llandrindod Wells, Wales

A local mending group showing that there's a better way to binning your broken bits and bobs.

13. Sage Greenfingers in Sheffield

A community garden providing ecotherapy for asylum seekers and those with mental health problems.

14. A Lot o' Love Community Allotment in Hartlepool, Teesside

An allotment created by unemployed youngsters for the benefit of children and other young people in care.

15. Denso Marston Nature Reserve in Baildon, West Yorkshire

A volunteer-run nature reserve bring kids closer to wildlife by teaching them about bugs, birds and trees.

16. The Secret Garden in Battersea, London

The school growing project teaching pupils about food waste and the importance of sustainable sourcing.

17. A Million Miles in North Kessock, Scotland
A community project aiming to reduce car journeys, increase cycling rates and improve public transport.

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