As someone who studies the environment and ideas of sustainability, I see place-making as a compliment of the two. In its simplest definition, sustainability refers to long-term balance; this notion of endurance. What I study is environmental and food sustainability, but place-making shares the same ideas: creating spaces for the community that will address local needs, in essence creating a social capital. The article “Why True Neighborhood Building Requires the Dedication of a Few ‘Zealous Nuts'” discusses how place-making is about the power of community and investing in the area in which one lives. I believe in the strength of community especially when it comes to sustainability, often quoting the mindset “think global, act local.” Our walk around the Borgo Bello neighborhood reinstated the importance of community and the idea of investing in “place.”
While the neighborhood has plenty of cafes, restaurants, and specialty shops, it’s a neighborhood that if you aren’t familiar with the area, doesn’t naturally lend itself to tourists. There are some lovely hidden gems, but the emphasis is on hidden. We would not have found such spots had we not been actively exploring the neighborhood. Perhaps this is also the charm of Borgo Bello; beauty for those who are willing to find it, but in terms of community sustainability/place sustainability, it doesn’t seem beneficial in the long run. Somehow the community needs to feel tied to these places, and to make them into something special, something worth sharing.