Here are a few of Mr. Kageyama's ideas to get our creative city juices flowing:
- Aim Low - take on simple, easy to execute projects
- Embrace the silly, nonsensical and the weird
- Engage your faith-based community
- Break some rules
- Be bold
- Be emotionally true
- Placing of artwork, sculptures, swings...things that alter our perception of our downtowns and make us smile and perhaps think a little
- Beautifying public spaces - taking over vacant lots, off ramps of highways...
- Placing interactive artwork/stickers such as Candy Chang with her "Before I Die....." blackboards for people to finish the sentence, and her "I Wish This Was....." stickers on empty buildings for people to put up their ideas.
- Outdoor community dinners in streets, on beaches, bridges....wherever.
- Embrace temporary
- Learn your city's history and bring it back to life like Phoenixville PA creating Blobfest after a movie "The Blob" that was filmed there. My city, New Rochelle, has an extraordinarily rich history and a city historian based at the library who knows an amazing amount of it from Firehouse Films to Mighty Mouse, Ozzie Davis, Ruby Dee, Norman Rockwell...so much music and art. Plenty for us to start thinking about fun ways to remember things that have gone before.
Four years, 120,000 city blocks. A life long New York City resident, Sociologist William Helmreich decided to systematically walk all the city streets of all five boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx. His newly published book The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6000 Miles in the City chronicles his journey. An Atlantic Cities review gives some background including a great quote from Helmreich “ 'Every block can be interesting. It’s not just about covering ground, it’s about how you cover ground.' ”
Helmreich takes his students out to walk neighborhoods "teaching them to use its neighborhoods as a sort of living laboratory".
I haven't read the book yet but it is on the top of my reading list. Published by Princeton University Press it is available on their website, also through academic sources on line such as JSTOR for those with access, and of course through Amazon both in hardcover and as an e-book.