Let's Go Renton!

Spring/Summer 2019

City of Renton Programs, Events, Fitness, and Fun for Everyone!

Issue link: http://www.rentonwhatshappening.com/i/1103820

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Page 26 of 55

THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACEMAKING It is no mistake that real estate agents highlight the surrounding activities, restaurants and landmarks when selling a home. Location is vital, and it is not just a home's features that dictate its value. Neighborhoods are the places where our everyday practice of life occurs, and a person must fall in love with the idea of living in the community, not the home itself. As a neighborhood, the big question is how do you begin to create a place that people desire to be a part of? Here are some helpful hints on ways your neighborhood can discover how to utilize the element of "placemaking" to enhance your community. 1. Evaluate & Identify Issues Before creating or redesigning a space, carry out an assessment of the current space. Collectively identify flaws, goals, and a community vision. Make sure to allow input from a variety of stakeholders and not just a select group. This could take anywhere between a few hours or several days depending on the scope and size of the project. The end goal is to collectively rein - vent a public space while strengthening the connection between the people who would benefit the most from its improvement. 2. Your neighbors are not always people Schools, local businesses, government agencies. They are an invaluable stake- holder within your community that can be instrumental in getting a project off the ground. They can also provide resources, insight, and experience that other residents may not consider. 3. Create Opportunities for interaction When considering a design, ensure your space creates opportunities for improvisa- tion. For example, movable chairs allow for more than just sitting. People can choose how to orient seating that is most appro- priate for the type of social setting they are trying to create. Sitters can choose to transform the space from a traditional park setting into one that allows for an outdoor performance or community picnic. Simply provide users the amenities, and allow them to discover and create unique ways to properly enjoy the space. 4. Lighter, Quicker, Faster (LQC) Good public spaces don't happen overnight, and people do not need to have all the answers at the outset to start improving. LQC projects are opportunities to test new ideas that will help implement the commu - nity's vision for their space. They are simple and can be organized quickly, like a commu- nity block party or cleanup, while instilling a sense of pride within the community. 5. Focus on Meaning A place is meaningless if it provides people no purpose. For example, your local park may have a bench which receives limited or unwanted use. However when you combine it with a playground or an appealing amen - ity it will attract intended use, and minimize the potential of unwanted behavior within a community. Each year the City of Renton Neighborhood Program awards over $70,000 in grant dollars for qualifying events or projects that can be utilized for the purpose of placemaking. Contact the Neighborhood Program today to discover what opportunities are available for your neighborhood. LEARN MORE AT RENTONWA.GOV/NEIGHBORHOODPROGRAMS 25

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