Often times, people have a sense of what they’d like to have in their neighborhood, ‘safety, but also something colorful and fun!’, but they don’t know how to progress the idea, which is why it’s critical designers give a range of possibilities and advocate for engaging design.
The Mid-Govans Neighborhood Streetscape Plan was a coordinated effort between my team working on behalf of Neighborhood Design Center and the Mid-Govans community to assess the benefits and limitations of the neighborhood, and to help shape goals so that they could take their ideas to different city agencies for funding.
Due to an unsatisfying feasibility design process led by the 21st Century School’s architect, I coordinated a charrette for the Medfield Heights Elementary School Core Planning Team as a volunteer member. Below are our findings and recommendations to the 21st Century Schools.
When neighborhoods have identity:
- Spaces have multiple uses, and are used for gathering.
- A positive perception of surrounding gives a sense of value.
- Neighborhood growth potential increases.
When the community informs the program, tangible goals begin to take shape: desire for design continuity, quality of building materials, exterior lighting/shading, and the need for a developed landscape plan became central factors for the redesign.
A timeline showing charrettes that the community participated at the beginning of the Waverly Library design process, but the outcome of those charrettes were largely forgotten and ignored by the time a design was put together— members of the community were blindsided by a design that did not address their concerns, and they reached out to different City agencies to improve the library’s design.
a.) An exterior rendering of the library design given to the community.
b.) An interior rendering of the library design.
The community did not feel they were being heard— I was brought in as a design consultant in the hopes that I could better translate the needs and desires of the community to the City agencies involved in the management of the library’s renovation.