Working on this movie has lead me to ask many questions, both of myself and those I am interviewing. Mainly, why is something like Placemaking important?
You would think I would have that answered before making the movie, however, that is, I suppose, why I am making the film.Some might even ask, “What is Placemaking?” – the short answer is the reclaiming of spaces and turning them into places where people can experience a deeper connection and sense of enjoyment. It may come in the form of a bench, a kiosk, a garden, or an intersection that is painted by neighbors.
Driving on the South East side of Portland yesterday, I passed one of the many cob benches that have been built during the last 11 years of the VBC. I saw a group of teenagers seeking refuge from the sun and sitting in the cool shade of the living roof which covered the bench. Seeing their smiles and the pleasure in having a place to hang out made me understand what is being done here.
More then just benches to sit on or pretty paintings in the streets, the projects of the Village Building Convergence leave a lasting legacy of community. It takes community to create them, to up-keep them, and to enjoy them. Providing more Places for people to gather and get to know each other helps lead to less crime in a neighborhood, less isolation, and less fear of the unknown neighbor.
The importances of a modern-day village go much deeper. And the steps to get there are the focus of this movie. It is intended to be like a recipe book for other communities to cook up their own village magic. For more inspiration, please check out the movie when it is done! Follow along on the web site, or “Like” Village Alchemy on Facebook for up dates.
~ Hannah ~