Making a special, unique, even personal mark on a neighborhood can have benefits for all.
It took thousands of years of human existence, from nomadic life to town or city dwelling, to create a sense of neighborhood. Then modern suburban life and urban blight seemed, at least partially, to break it down. Mulder posits that people, especially kids, have the power to rebuild that sense of neighborhood that so many generations knew. Readers are provided with copious examples of inventive and often brilliant ideas that have been implemented from locations around the world. There are pocket parks and gardens created in parking spots and other small spaces. Block parties, community festivals, street painting, pedestrian malls, knitters’ corners, lending libraries, self-serve sharing stations, and many more community-building efforts are presented, almost all of which are the ideas of ordinary adults and children. These innovations are sometimes faced with initial opposition from neighbors concerned with noise or crowds or from officials, as in “That’s public space—so no one can use it!” Loosely themed chapters offer brief explorations of each special place, illustrated with color photos. Scattered on the pages are sidebars with historic facts as well as places created in the author’s own city of Victoria, British Columbia. Throughout, readers are encouraged to run with their own place-making ideas in their own communities.
An upbeat view of innovations in modern living. (resources, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)