“Rather, I have found advocacy to be a practice of listening and connection. Instead of anger…a deep space of hope.” — Anna Vogt, Center for Public Dialogue 2020
Advocating for quality community design does not mean taking sides. It’s about sharing ideas from a creative and balanced point of view. Too often in town planning and community engagement, people get caught up in strident forced choices. As quoted above, real inspiration comes from collaborating on constructive ideas for improvements.
In a recent local Glenview, IL project for redevelopment, discussion began with professional input for traditional Downtown revitalization (as pictured above-of former Bess hardware site). As many potential expectations and competing interests emerged, public comment devolved into characterization of extreme choices. While trying to present creative design possibilities through a local Mainstreet group (Friends of Downtown Glenview), I found myself also being drawn into scheduling and communications pressures to “pick a side.”
There will always be other voices for NIMBYism and economics. Instead, for community design advocacy let’s provide a creative point of view for inspiring long term solutions.