This past week we had an important conversation about our specific visions for the Terrace moving forward. We brainstormed a list of things that are priority actions to accomplish during this semester. We took time to acknowledge that this list is preliminary and that ultimately it will be the needs and abilities of the community which decide what work gets accomplished in the coming months and years. Some of the items we focused on were:
- More & suitable seating
- Improved lighting
- Creating a visible & accessible
- Continued maintenance & promotion
The seating problem is simple enough, there should be more seating in the area of the terrace which is weather proof, moveable but theft-resistant and is accessible for all people. We could construct similar structures to the existing bleachers out of repurposed wood and using the tools in the shop. This project seems very achievable because the construction plans already exist for the bleachers. Designing and constructing another set of moveable seating may be a challenge, but if our group divides into smaller groups, with community members, based on interest I think we have both and time and capability to complete this project.
We had a short conversation about possible lighting solutions. One student raised the idea of using solar lighting, and it was general consensus that whatever lighting was, it should be aesthetically pleasing and creative- something other than spotlights or simple streetlights to illuminate the space. We all liked the idea that the 2015 Placemakers recommended with the multi-purpose lighting which not only draws attention to the space from far away (a large skyline shaped light installation) as well as filling the terrace with much needed lighting after the sunsets. There are two road blocks here- supplying sufficient electricity to the lighting systems, and designing the installation. Lastly, we spoke about incorporating some large lighted trellises at the two entrances of the terrace in order to show visitors how to access the space.
When we were having smaller group conversations last week one of the things that my group brought up with making the route to the terrace more visible and accessible. We were brainstorming ways to do this, remembering visits to zoos or museums where we would follow brightly painted foot prints of animals down paths toward the destination. We talked about incorporating lighting into this as well, through the use of lighted figures on the route to the terrace (temporarily attached to the walls of the alley).
Lastly, I think the most important item on our agenda in the coming weeks will be devising a maintenance plan for the terrace. Even in the low-use season we’re in now, there are still issues of waste and over growth. Hopefully working with our friends in the community we’ll be able to develop a maintenance schedule that does not burden the community, but instead promotes responsible use of the shared space.