When he was starting out, Team Better Block co-founder Andrew Howard was convinced that all he needed was the right plan to improve his community and that would be all that it would take for “the right people to come from somewhere else and make that plan happen,” he said in an interview with the Project for Public Spaces’ Placemaking Blog.
What I’ve realized through Better Block is that every community already has everybody they need. They just need to activate the talented people who are already there, and shove them into one place at one time, and that place can become better really quickly.
To paraphrase Pogo, we have seen the change agent and he is us.
Another Placemaking blog post notes:
Each of us can participate, right now, in creating the city that we want to live in. If you think of enlivening a place as a monumental task, remember that great places are not the result of any one person’s actions, but the actions of many individuals layered on top of one another. It may take years to turn a grassy lot into a great square, but you can start today by simply mowing the lawn and inviting your neighbors out for a picnic….
If you are a change-oriented person, we need you to lead. Whether you want to move your office outside, organize a citywide cooking festival, or start small by making a concerted effort to engage directly with your neighbors every day, know that your own actions are an essential component of your neighborhood’s sense of place, by virtue of the fact that you live there.