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?