Participation and Action – By Nicole Flohr

Anirban Adhya explains Placemaking as a three-step process of confirmation, interrogation, and action framing. The first two steps are about dialogue and the last step is about decision-making. He compares the process to the query-analysis-application theory posited by other scholars.

Ray Lorenzo describes participation as a democratic process that involves all citizens and aims to find shared solutions. Participation encourages mutual learning through action.

On Sunday, I experienced the first two steps of Placemaking while actively participating with the community. I was pleasantly surprised by the turn-out at the park clean-up and potluck. The neighborhood is already involved and engaged in the project, which is a good sign for the progress we can make together.

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Placemakers and community members come together to clean the park. 

I was also encouraged by the feedback we got during the workshop session. The Street Life Project found that a good community place has sitting space, sun, trees, water, food, and foot traffic. The park has many of these ingredients, and the community has the ideas to make the perfect recipe.

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The first two steps of Placemaking: confirmation and interrogation. 

However, there are still things that need to be added or improved. One of the main desires of the community is to have a bar or food kiosk within the park. William Whyte would agree, and I do too. The park needs something to draw people in, whether that is food, a safe playground for children and their families, or a series of community events.

With that in mind, it is what comes next, the action and application, that matters. I am excited to continue the participation with the community, and to start working to make our ideas a reality.


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