By Jennie Melvin
URA and Main Street 

Placemaking in Green River

 


Last month, Project for Public Spaces and the National Main Street Center, Inc., conducted training for communities statewide, “Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities” in Douglas.

“Cultivating Place” is a series of intensive trainings designed to strengthen and expand Main Street’s capacity for implementing placemaking strategies and public space improvements. Wyoming was selected for this specialized placemaking training because of our unique challenges and innovative ways Main Street’s are beginning to create spaces where people want to be.

Main Street managers, economic development professionals, city and state agency representatives, philanthropic foundations and various community leaders were in attendance at this event, working with trainers and trainees to identify ways to successfully grow, implement, and sustain placemaking efforts throughout the state after the completion of the training.

There is growing momentum to get “back to the basics” of what makes cities thrive. Many of the most effective and immediate solutions are lighter, quicker, and cheaper than traditional top-down approaches to improving cities. The quality of a public space has always been best defined by the people who use it. The growing success of “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC) projects all over the world is proof that expensive and labor-intensive initiatives are not the only, or even the most effective, ways to bring energy and life into a community’s public space.


The proliferation of LQC efforts all over the world signals the emergence of a powerful, networked, and creative movement, and it shows that more and more people are beginning to see how communities can be created and transformed by making a series of affordable and human-scale changes. Although many of the challenges facing today’s cities go well beyond the scope of these individual interventions, taken together they demonstrate that incremental and place-led change is possible, even in the midst of ongoing social, economic, and political obstacles.

In July, Green River URA/Main Street will be hosting a “Place Game” and invites the community to get involved with defining the places in downtown that are special, unique, or just plain loved. The game is an exercise to generate ideas about how to make those places even more inviting and a space that people want to be.

If you’d like to get involved in making a difference in your community, contact us at 872-6141 or send us a message on Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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