Networked Urbanism

design thinking initiatives for a better urban life

Design critics: Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo, principals of Ecosistema Urbano

Think Big

With little extra funding to reinvigorate public spaces in cities today, new strategies and tactics need to be developed to improve our public spaces so they better serve residents, engage community, and foster interactions.  While the development of these strategies and tactics may involve high-level collaborations between many different stakeholders in the community, new ideas/methods/strategies for activating public spaces can also be developed “on the fly” by individuals taking action in the public spaces and making connections between stakeholders and organizations as they go.  My goal for this studio is to become one of these individuals and hope to gradually develop larger strategies for activating public spaces and promoting stakeholder collaborations based my experiences this term.

Start Small

I decided to use the Cambridge Common as the public space to focus my efforts on this term.  I spent a lot of time the last weekend observing the park and how people use it.  I then brainstormed a lot of different ideas for activities and art projects that would serve different users of the park, but the feedback from our “sharing” session on Tuesday encouraged me to develop a particular goal to work towards.  After meeting with staff at the Cambridge Historical Society yesterday, I developed a specific goal and brainstormed different interventions to try to meet that goal.  My goal is: Capture the essence of childhood in people of all ages in the Cambridge Common.

Act Now

To try to spark the imagination, wonder, and curiosity that are essential to childhood, I’ve brainstormed a few different ideas for interventions.  I’m going to start with some intervention prototypes this weekend in the Common on the small scale and see how they go, to then reassess the ideas, successes/failures/opportunities/problems and further develop the prototypes.

Past/Current/Near Future Connections include: New Urban Mechanics Lab, Cambridge Historical Society, Cambridge Art Council, Cambridge Historical Society, LZ Nunn, Ed Walker, Jim Lasko.

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