What makes a space a place?
Posted on 07/23/14 in SC Perspectives
(7.24.14) A space becomes a place…
- When it is activated
(or as we call it in philanthropy, programmed)
- When it has meaning or significance
- When it is relevant to the daily life of community members.
Case in point: Adjacent to Saint Luke’s Pointe is a vacant lot that we at Saint Luke’s Foundation have unofficially dubbed The Pointe Oval. For one day, this vacant space was transformed into a place. On this day, the Pointe Oval became the neighborhood backyard for nearly 200 kids. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of partners from the Cleveland Police Foundation, Buckeye Shaker Square CDC, Boys and Girls Club, Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL), the Centers for Families and Children, Neighborhood Progress, Inc., the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), and with support from LAND Studio, this vacant lot was transformed into a place filled with fun and laughter.
But there’s more.
At the event, we asked the kids what they would like to see in their neighborhood.
Their comments represented their wants and aspirations. In short, they want safe places to play. More specifically, they want places where they can participate in sports, ride their bikes and walk. They want playgrounds, concerts and outdoor movies.
This is all practical stuff, and it is doable with the right partners and a strong collective will.
The kids also shared their aspirations, which warmed my heart. They want to see triple rainbows and unicorn ballet performances.
Yes, triple rainbows and unicorn ballet performances. Getting these two things ready for the next event may take a little more effort.
Big shout-out to our partners, especially LAND Studio and Buckeye Shaker Square CDC, for facilitating the event, and for setting the stage for future place making activities that bring the community together.
By: Nelson Beckford, Senior Program Officer for Strong Communities