Sunday, November 2, 2014

Time for a little common ground

Mark Lakeman at Ted Talk last weekend. 
Neighborhood collaboration infers there is a reason to do so and a place to do it.  In SafeGrowth the reason is simple; crime and safety. But why do we need a common place to collaborate and how do we get that? Aren't community halls enough? Don't we have adequate common places for that now?

No we don't!

In  the Ted Talk below my friend, Portland architect Mark Lakeman tells us why. Mark has appeared on this blog before about Safety With a Potluck. Here he is on a roll! It's fascinating how he starts slow and builds tempo to such an obvious conclusion that somehow escapes how we currently build neighborhoods.


I remember sitting next to a colleague last year when Mark presented this idea during a keynote address. My colleague, clearly uncomfortable with the unconventional method in Portland's  Intersection Repair program, whispered: "What about the home owners near the intersection who don't want to participate?"

"Oh," I should have answered, but didn't, "do you mean the one's who prefer isolation and alienation? Or do you mean you don't understand how intersection repair accounts also for their need for privacy?"

Mark answers this when he describes Monopoly as the economic motif for how we plan cities and a game we all grew up with. We don't even question the logic of Monopoly as a way of doing business. Mark does! That's an idea worth spreading.

1 Reply so far - Add your comment

  1. Greg, thanks for posting this link! By the way, your friend's question about corner homeowners is easy to answer. The fact is, the benefits of the program are so basic and general in nature that it's actually the corner owners who want this kind of project to happen! On the other hand, if they don't want to lower vandalism rates by engaging children, or increase community physical and mental health rates, and even affect driving patterns of behavior, then they don't have to participate! On the other, since improving these kinds of indicators will improve property values, maybe they will end up becoming interested, if only for the money!
    Have a great day, Mark

    ReplyDelete

Please add comments to SafeGrowth. I will post everyone except posts with abusive, off-topic, or offensive language; any discriminatory, racist, sexist or homophopic slurs; thread spamming; or ad hominem attacks. If your comment does not appear in a day due to blogspot problems send it to gregorysaville@gmail.com and I'll post direct.