Before we had the workshop late on Tuesday, our class performed our own version of what we envision to the space to be in the year 2020. We each came up with different ideas including a space for kids or for all ages, a space with benches and sofas, or a space with greenery and maybe even a little water area for kids to play in during the summer. The general idea was that the space should be a place for the community to come together and remain in a peaceful area. My hopes were high during this time, and I couldn’t wait until we finalized the project so that we could get it started.
It was around nine o’clock when we entered the workshop where the local people were to discuss the plans for the space as well as perform the vision 2020 exercise that we had done in class. However, this time there were many more people than just 12 students. When Ray described the vision exercise, the old artist beard man did thought it was a silly idea. I agreed at first considering the large amount of people there, but Kirby led me to think otherwise in that the exercise was something that needed to be done for something like this; it was a method to the madness of planning and placemaking.
After the vision exercise was complete and after Viviana organized all of the post-its, it was time for discussion. Many people had things to say. While I couldn’t understand much, I had Massimiliano there to translate a lot of what was said, while it was being said. A lot of thought was put into this space. I remember one man saying that the idea was good, but we need to get the people to back us up. If we don’t get the locals to back us up in our project, then nothing is going to happen. We need the people. Massimiliano also spoke up and said something along the lines of how we need to make sure we don’t just create another place for people to come to and do drugs. The woman sitting next to Massimiliano agreed with him, telling him how this is so important since it already exists in areas of Perugia.
It’s safe to say I was somewhat overwhelmed by it all. Again, I’ve never done anything with city planning or placemaking. There were many people talking, not in a language I understand, with numerous ideas for the space. When the class was proposing their own ideas, I thought this was task was going to be a breeze. After the workshop, I now see the challenge and difficulty in making something like this work. That isn’t to say that I don’t think we can make it work, but just that it may take some more time and persistence to complete. Hearing was marvelous. Yet, now it is time to solidify what we have and push closer to the finally getting something done. With every new day that comes, we should try and get closer and closer to our goal which is making that space something beautiful for the community.