I wish this was project

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Emilie Swenson

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Jul 20, 2022, 2:26:27 PMJul 20
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Hi Folks,

Just heard about this project from the aftermath of Katrina "I wish this was" - thought I would share - a pretty cool idea for urban planning and possibly for this group in some way?!

image.png
Photo from the project

I wish this was
Infusing street art and urban planning, I Wish This Was is a participatory project that reveals people’s dreams for their own communities. In 2010, artist Candy Chang posted thousands of “I wish this was ___” stickers on vacant buildings across New Orleans to invite residents to easily share their hopes for these spaces. An experiment in civic input on-site, responses ranged from the functional to the poetic: I wish this was… a butcher shop, a community garden, a place to sit and talk, an affordable farmers’ market, not lowering my property value, full of nymphomaniacs with PhDs, what you need, your dream. Featured in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, this project has continued on through the passionate work of communities around the world and provokes new insights for what a community might yet become.

Christopher Parelius

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Jul 20, 2022, 4:19:56 PMJul 20
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I really like this! I'm a really big fan of tactical urbanism largely because I find formal processes take too long. Do you have any ideas for what you would do here?

For me I had a vague idea of pooling money to put in unauthorized bikelanes at night or marking off the excessively wide corner on the intersection of Preble and Forest as "I wish this was a park" 

-Chris 

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Lucas Ankhartz

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Jul 20, 2022, 6:47:34 PMJul 20
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Will gladly buy $20-30 worth of these stickers and writing utensils if people are serious about starting this.

Christopher Parelius

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Jul 20, 2022, 7:06:09 PMJul 20
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I'm down. Just give me a time and place and I'll be there to help out.
-Chris

Zack Barowitz

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Jul 21, 2022, 6:14:32 AMJul 21
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I fully support interventions of tactical urbanism especially “realignment” of things like traffic cones. However, being that there are members of city staff on this list I think that rather than put them in an uncomfortable position, I think that those interested In discussing praticum in TA might consider convening offline. 
Thanks 
Zack 

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Christopher Parelius

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Jul 21, 2022, 7:46:58 AMJul 21
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I can totally understand that! 
I admit I'm so used to being in groups that don't include city staff in the internal discussions, that I hadn't even considered that they would be here. It shows just how awesome this city is that they are actively engaging with the public in this way. I apologize if my comments put city staff in an awkward position.

-Chris

Emilie Swenson

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Jul 21, 2022, 8:30:57 PMJul 21
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Thanks for the enthusiasm and the responses. I really appreciate the energy of folks to make things better in Portland and I'm also new to this list so am certainly learning!

I think the main point of sharing that as an idea is that it helps us to think creatively about how we imagine public spaces and how we democratize urban planning processes, while engaging people in exciting, fun, and unusual ways. It takes it out of a traditional survey that people tend to do alone (siloed) to an interactive, potentially community building experience that helps to envision possibilities (i.e., this could be an amazing vegetable stand) rather than focusing on deficits (that dilapidated shack needs to be torn down). I'm not sure who from the city is on this list, but I could imagine that something like this or some other kind of arts based community engagement work could serve as both data collection to inform as well as arts enrichment to build people up. 

Cheers!

-Emilie

Zack Barowitz

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Jul 21, 2022, 9:05:24 PMJul 21
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I agree wholeheartedly. (And we’re this not a public list, I would be the first to volunteer to paint road lines, lay stencils, and sticker up parking signs!)

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