In September, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) welcomed Elgin Cleckley, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia (UVA) and designer, director, and principal of _mpathic design, a Design Thinking pedagogy, initiative, and professional practice focusing on intersections of identity, culture, history, memory, and place, to discuss the background and creation of _mpathic design and action-based empathic design thinking methods for equitable design futures. If you missed the love webinar, click here to check out the webinar recording, and learn more about public spaces – ones that are truly equitable and inclusive.
Click here to learn more about inclusive design thinking through _mpathic design!
As we focus on public spaces and how they’re essential for creating community vitality, DHCD was excited to welcome Lindsey Wallace, Director of Strategic Projects and Design Services for the National Main Street Center (NMSC). Lindsey has over twelve years of experience in historic preservation, community engagement, and project management, and she understand that our continued health and racial pandemics prove the urgency of more in-depth analysis and thinking for what public spaces need to and must be. Check out this month’s podcast as she guides us through national examples of communities making the most of their public spaces. Listen here!
Lindsey recommends that listeners check out the following resources:
- Navigating Main Streets as Places – Online Toolkit
- Commercial District Design: COVID-19 Response and Management
- AARP Livable Communities: Public Place and Outdoor Spaces
- Rapid Placemaking to Bring Back Main Street: A Pandemic Recovery Toolkit for Local Communities
- Laramie Mural Project
Here are a few fun examples of great public places / outdoor spaces from Lindsey’s travels:
From left to right:
- Coshocton, OH (interactive art park downtown – complete with a kaleidoscope)
- Claremore, OK (one of several fun bike racks)
- Douglas, WY (jackalope sculpture – the city admin will also give you jackalope hunting licenses on request)
- Mesa, AZ (DIY wayfinding with dinosaur footprints)
- Middlesboro, KY (history trail/exhibit and pocket park with volunteer-made furniture from donated pallets/spools)
- Piqua, OH (rear façade activation)
- Pontiac, IL (Route 66 sign – featuring Kelly Humrichouser and Bob Karls, Pontiac City Administrator)
- Goldsboro, NC (two of four painted crosswalks created by local artists, designs voted on by community members)
Download the Community Workbook to reflect on the future you would like to see for your community, identify session ideas that rise to today’s needs and develop a path forward. You can also learn more about upcoming sessions!
Educational Webinar | Speaker: Nicole Martorana | November 10, 2021 | Register Here
Inspirational Podcast | Speaker: Kirsten Moore | November 15, 2021 | Listen Here