Middle Main

A neighborhood just a little off center

Changing our Place and Changing Ourselves

Last night I attended a talk in New York City that brought together several artists and geographers to talk about art work that engages the public realm. The panel asked several very important questions which had me thinking about Middle Main.

Geographer David Harvey spoke about this idea of a geographic consciousness. The basic gyst of his idea is that our understanding of ourselves is rooted in the space that is around us. If we want to create a new identity for the city, we should not just be asking what do we want the city to look like, but what kind of people do we want to be? These questions are linked together.

Later in the talk a gentleman from the arts group Spurse addressed the question of change as it relates to revitalization. His point of view was that because a city is a ecosystem, you have to think not about re-inventing/re-creating the city, but about working with in that system to address needs. It's not about the new, but about what can be done with the materials and people that are already in spaces we are working.

This had me thinking a lot about what we are trying to do for Middle Main. I'm wondering about what the future holds and how we are molding that future.

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Comment by Eddie Summers on July 26, 2010 at 4:53pm
Kent Robertson, a well known scholar on small city economic development emphasized the notion of a sense of place. He would argue that reinvention/revitalization isn't necessarily about "new" buildings, etc. but about embracing existing assets of place and space. This provides character, uniqueness and history, which gives cities a sense of place.

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