GET TO KNOW YA SPACE
Comfort & Image
2 Feels Safe
2 Clean/well maintained
3 Feels reflective and restorative
Access & Linkages
2 Identifiable from a distance
1 Accessible by transit
3 Clear information/signage
Uses & Activities
2 Comfortable places to sit
2 Frequent community events/activities
1 Area is busy
3 Variety of things to do
3 People in groups
2 Evidence of volunteerism
2 Sense of pride and ownership
3 Children and seniors are present
1. What do you like best about this place?
I like how it became the Paper maker’s garden. As it was becoming that, I heard about it a lot. The name made me think of paper turning into plants and plants turning into paper. Then, I watched as it was becoming a garden. I enjoyed seeing the work progress.
2. List three things that you would do to improve this place that could be done right away and that wouldn’t cost a lot:
- add more natural wood (it gives a grounding contrast to the metal fence) and if larger branches could be found, they could also serve as sitting spots
- paint some of the rocks. Literally painting the rocks (even subtle colors) could turn them into a beautiful and intriguing landscape. I have also seen paper pulp “painted” onto the rocks. That was lovely.
- have music in the space some days, preferably live
3. What three changes would you make in the long term that would have the biggest impact?
- Build more involvement in the location. This is two fold, you have to invest in the space to make people want to be there and then reach out to student groups to hold events there. Having more people in the space informs how the space can continue to support community.
- keep on the public relations. Small informational cards should be distributed around campus about it’s current state and function. Knowing what the thing is makes it friendly and interesting.
- design the space. The fence walls need to be beautified in some way, preferably with living plant stuffs, but even with natural fibers or the like. There should be areas of the space identified for specific purpose – sitting, performing or exercise.
4. As someone who is in the “place” what they like about it and what they would do to improve it.
“I didn’t even know it was there. I never thought about it. . . make it more obvious?”
5. What local partnerships or local talent can you identify that could help implement some of your proposed improvements? Please be as specific as possible.
Student body – there is a lot of turn over, but if there was more support from student organizations or another department, that would help a lot! Unfortunately, I can imagine the more people who get involved, equals that many more opinions on what to do with the space.
Chicago Public Performance (Permit?) – I know that musicians need to have an approved permit of sorts to perform in the subways and such. Could the school work to have this space as a possible venue? It could be for students only, but if it was accessible enough, it could be opened up as a money making opportunity for small scale musicians.
Community - if there was going to be painting or pulping of the rocks, I could see putting a call out for recycled paint or paper. There could be drop off times at the site and information for people passing. We could approach local businesses and arrange for pick up days from their stores. We could place a thank you on their window or even take out an add in the paper thanking all of the local businesses that supported the site.
MORE: The number one thing that I have been noticing about this site is that different groups want very different things for the area depending on their interests. I haven’t seen a land grab type of thing happening (yet), but as we look to community investment I think it is important to have some idea of the future of the site. I know that it will be re-designed over the summer. I wonder what that means.
On the positive side, I have seen a willingness of students to pitch in no matter what the site becomes. They feel very happy that any piece of property on our campus is being improved. There is so much drab in the place of our campus and every little bit of energetic life is felt.