Engaging Communities Through Placemaking at Atlanta Streets Alive

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, 
only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." – Jane Jacobs 


(This tribute clip to Jane Jacobs explains HUBS in a beautiful way)


Over this past year, I have had difficulty explaining - and sometimes understanding - the importance of incorporating "hubs" of activity into our open streets (Atlanta Streets Alive) model. Operationally and from a user experience, even for potential sponsor opportunities, it made sense.

But it was not until I started to learn more about placemaking, and how important it is to cities and neighborhoods, did the hubs really click.

We have all seen examples of the impact of placemaking in the places we want to be - places thrive when people have a range of reasons to be there. So at Atlanta Streets Alive, we strive to highlight what areas along the route could be if places had multiple ways to engage with people.

I believe PPS (Project for Public Spaces - a leading non-profit planning, design, and educational org) says it best in their explanation of the Power of 10+ here. 

"The idea behind this concept is that places thrive when users have a range of reasons (10+) to be there. These might include a place to sit, playgrounds to enjoy, art to touch, music to hear, food to eat, history to experience, and people to meet. Ideally, some of these activities will be unique to that particular place, reflecting the culture and history of the surrounding community. Local residents who use this space most regularly will be the best source of ideas for which uses will work best."

Sound familiar!?

Atlanta Streets Alive is powerful because of the ways we engage communities, connect many entities, and actively work to foster an environment to promote change in places.

From the route design, which touches multiple neighborhoods, to our focus on recruiting and maintaining strong partnerships that share values; to our neighborhood ambassador program that ensures community members have a voice, to innovative temporary displays and effective campaigns, Streets Alive is helping change the mindset of Atlanta, and our team is working hard to make that happen.

I look forward to all Atlanta Streets Alive can continue to become.