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, November 13, 2014

San Diego's North Park district's Then and Now tour this coming Saturday

In looking over some old email traffic between myself and Aaron Renn of Urbanophile, one of the things we had talked about is how new residents tend to not be all that interested in interfacing with the preexisting "community" within the city neighborhood they move into.

This is one of the factors generating animosity between new and "old" residents.  On the other hand, there aren't many social and civic "institutions" that help to bring the two groups together.

I remember when I lived in a Detroit suburb that there was a group in Birmingham for "Newcomers" and a for profit organization called Welcome Wagon (they operate nationally) that would identify new residents and give them a "welcome package."

Otherwise, I joke that in the city, young children--taken for walks and carriage rides and bike rides by their parents--and dogs + elementary schools end up being the "social bridges" that bring residents together.  (There are a number of parents groups across the city which help link parents within and across neighborhoods, such as "Moms on the Hill" in Capitol Hill.)

I am not religious, but my sense is that local churches are no longer such bridges, because their congregants are no longer "bound" by local geography, so neighbors aren't likely to meet each other in such settings.

For example, last weekend, we went to the Pancake Dinner fundraiser for Takoma Park Boy Scout Troop 33.

It's something we started going to last year, in part because the little girl next door loves pancakes and it's fun to take her.

This year I got into a great conversation with one of the parents of a Scout sitting across from us, and Marina was intrigued enough to start talking about joining the Girl Scouts.

One of the things that's cool about Takoma Park is "the community" (which is something also discernible in Capitol Hill and Georgetown) with a variety of community organizations that help bring together new and old residents over common interests.

I am on the email list for the North Park Main Street program in San Diego because when I first got involved in Main Street commercial district revitalization activities back in 2002 they were an early example of an urban program that seemed to have similar conditions to H Street NE.

Thire "Then and Now" walking tour sounds pretty interesting and seems to be a good way to help introduce people, especially new residents, to community history by showing them today in the context of yesterday.

Apparently the tour is now sold out.

North Park: Then & Now Tour
5 Tickets Left!!!!
Join us for an afternoon of exploration and excitement!
Join North Park Main Street and the North Park Historical Society for an afternoon of fun in one of San Diego's oldest neighborhoods.

Learn about historic buildings, meet local business owners, and gain unique insight into North Park's journey to becoming a hip cultural hub. 

This tour will explore the University Avenue & 30th Street Commerical District, and make special stops at Waypoint Public, Pigment, City Tacos and Hess Brewing Company for some light refreshments. 

Saturday, November 15 from 11 AM to 1PM
Tour begins at the North Park Theater
2891 University Avenue

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