Emotional Attachment to a Place

Posted by MJ

As the holiday weekend approaches I thought I'd share a post I came across that hits on the "emotional attachment" to a place that I usually try to allude to when I am discussing the need for updated zoning, planning etc. No one falls in love with and becomes attached to a filled in pothole, a store set behind 2000 sqft of black top etc.

Yes, we need to pave our streets and fix potholes — but there is more to a city than that. My worry in the current economic/political climate is that we will fixate only on these traditional “essentials,” and in doing so undermine the very thing that is keeping many communities going – the love, affection and loyalty that people have for their places. We need to expand our expectation of “essentials” and include that which speaks to our higher selves, and invest at least a little in beauty, fun and engagement. This does not take lots of money — it takes creativity, imagination, and an awareness of its importance.
When I ask people what they love about their cities, the answers always involve small things that often cost little or no money — a comfortable place to people watch, a favorite street corner, a local dog park, a street festival or outdoor movies in the park. These things are like a handwritten note that accompanies the formal gift — the note is just as important as the actual gift, because of the thoughts and emotions conveyed within it. The cost is incidental, but their impact is significant.
This is why I always bring up events like the concert series, free outside movies, issues such as street tree replacement, coding for buildings/site plans we can value, etc. A bare bones budget will not be the tide of change that will see a rebirth for Lockport. Items that make us "fall in love with it" will.

What type of things make you fall in love with or romanticize a certain place? Where are those places?


Anonymous said...

My husband and I came to Lockport in 2008 after having lived in NYC all of our life. We came here to raise our children and we have fallen in love with it. The people are so friendly and nice. Store owners really go out of their way to make sure you are happy and satisfied. we love the free events that Lockport holds for its residents. we love being a part of this community.

Anonymous said...

I've always been impressed with Medina with their very interesting downtown area, their 'water front' and their sports complex - it all seems amazing for such a little town.

Anonymous said...

That was so well said it brought a tear to my eye.I want my kid's to have fond memories of their childhood,just like I have!

MJ said...

Medina is a great surprise. It's rare to find places that were not demolished for the promise of better things that never came. The intact Main St facades are beautiful as are the nearby residential streets. If it were closer to Buffalo it probably would have become another East Aurora.

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