Curious about the Pike District Branding and Placemaking Campaign? Here’s an update.

Kris Warner of Maier Warner provided the following update on their Pike District branding and placemaking work.

  1. Website – the new site is in production and we anticipate an early November launch.
  2. Social Media – Since the month of April, Pike District Facebook has increased to 823 followers and reaching nearly 4,000 people each month. Twitter followers have grown to 714 and Instagram has grown to 606 followers.
  3. We launched Pike District monthly newsletter, The Scoop, in June and average a 35% open rate to 1,151 subscribers. We also use eblasts to communicate to the food truck audience and are building a separate list. Currently there are nearly 100 on our #FoodOnWheels mailing list. Here are links to the latest: https://mailchi.mp/6e2f2d28a9b6/k9-and-feelin-fine?e=[UNIQID]https://mailchi.mp/141c599bc8c2/the-scoop-music-in-the-pike-district-its-good-for-your-healthhttps://mailchi.mp/f3ff73679c8d/the-scoop-ways-to-find-your-spring-vibe-in-the-pike-district. To sign up to receive future newsletters, please click here: http://eepurl.com/c7xlkT
  4. Events
    1. Pop Ups
      1. Over the summer, we hosted two pop-ups at Metro, engaging with Metro riders by handing out cookies and ice cream and talking with them about the Pike District.
      2. #FoodonWheels was launch in August with two locations – Chapman Avenue at Marinelli and at 6100 Executive Blvd. Sales have been good some weeks but inconsistent. We continue to work with property management in all the nearby office buildings to make more employees aware of the weekly food trucks.
      3. We are kicking off our office lobby activations next week with food and/or giveaways
      4. We are also planning a welcome gift program to new residents moving into Pike District apartment communities.

Take the survey – tell the Planning Department what you think Randolph Hills placemaking should include

Better Block will be on the ground in Randolph Hills through October 2018 as part of an engagement and master planning effort with Montgomery County Planning Department. We’re working to bring your ideas to life and make a more walkable, vibrant place to live and work. Please fill out the survey below and share with anyone else you think may be interested!

Take the survey

Be part of the Planning Department’s Placemaking Event at the Randolph Hills Shopping Center

The Montgomery County Planning Department invites the public to a kick-off meeting to launch the White Flint Placemaking effort in the Randolph Hills area. Hosted in partnership with the Better Block Foundation, this evening event will feature a keynote presentation about community placemaking by Better Blocks CEO Jason Roberts.

The meeting will be held Wed. May 30th, 2018, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at 4840 Boiling Brook Pkwy, Rockville, MD 20852. (The vacant restaurant to the left of Kosher Mart in the Randolph Hill Shopping Center.)

Attendees will share thoughts and ideas on how placemaking could be used as a tool to build community in the Randolph Hills area.

This Better Block effort aims to bring together residents, local business owners, parents, teachers and students of nearby schools, and representatives of civic associations for a community-oriented placemaking event in October 2018.

Learn more at http://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/placemaking/white-flint-placemaking/

The Better Block Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.  More information on the Better Block Foundation at BetterBlock.Org.

RSVP FOR EVENT

Placemaking’s power to build healthier, happier communities

From an interesting report called The Case for Healthy Places:
From obesity and chronic disease to depression, social isolation, or increased exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants, communities around the world face pressing health challenges that are far different than those we’ve experienced in the past. Along with unprecedented rates of chronic disease, which affect half of all American adults and include conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 Diabetes, and certain types of cancer, Americans are also facing tremendous mental health challenges today. While many of today’s most common diseases and poor health conditions are linked to behavior—such as physical activity levels and eating habits—these are in turn dependent on access and opportunities within an individual’s physical, social, and economic environments. In other words, many of the factors determining individual and community health are directly related to how the public spaces in our communities are designed. It has become increasingly clear that the way we design our built environment has a direct impact on our health well-being.
The CDC describes healthy places as “those designed and built to improve the quality of life for all people who live, work, worship, learn and play within their borders—where every person is free to make choices amid a variety of healthy,  available, accessible, and affordable options.” As a society, we must pay closer attention to underlying social issues as well as the built environments that play a crucial role in determining individual and community health.
This report uses the idea of “placemaking” as a framework for describing how transforming are designed and operated. As issues such as sprawl and poorly planned growth have resulted in unwalkable communities,public spaces can improve health outcomes. As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, placemaking is a collaborative process for reshaping the public realm—a community’s streets, parks, and other public spaces—in order to maximize shared value. Placemaking includes a broad cross-section of strategies and projects, running the gamut from farmers markets, community gardens, and public plazas, to efforts to make streets more amenable to pedestrians and bicyclists. But placemaking is not just about the outcome of an improved place, it is grounded in the process itself—observing, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work, and play in a particular area in order to understand their specific needs and aspirations for the place. Even beyond the tangible benefits that placemaking projects can yield, the very process of bringing community members and stakeholders together to shape a place can have powerful social benefits that in turn connect to positive health outcomes. Outlining the ways in which placemaking strategies and projects can improve people’s physical, mental, and social health, this report
analyzes these impacts in five key areas: Social Support & Interaction; Play & Active Recreation; Green & Natural Environments; Healthy Food; and Walking & Biking.

Making a Place a Place You Love

You may have heard of a concept called “placemaking.” While it sounds like a trendy, made-up word, it’s actually the definitive foundation of the White Flint Sector Plan. No doubt you’re eager to learn more, so here’s a quick Friends of White Flint primer on placemaking.

According to Wikipedia, placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being.  According to Friends of White Flint, placemaking is how the physical parts of an area — buildings, parks, paths, etc. — and the people who live, work, and play there create that lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling of community.

Placemaking doesn’t simply toss together a square of green grass, sidewalk cafe, and apartment building and call it a neighborhood. Placemaking creates a Quality Place, a space where, according to Better Cities and Towns,  “people, businesses, and institutions want to be. Such places often are alluring; they have pizzazz.”

Placemaking, says the Project for Public Spaces, shows “planners, designers, and engineers how to move beyond their habit of looking at communities through the narrow lens of single-minded goals or rigid professional disciplines. … Experience has shown us that when developers and planners welcome as much grassroots involvement as possible, they spare themselves a lot of headaches. Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated, under-performing development projects can be avoided by embracing the placemaking perspective that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated fragments of the whole.”

Isn’t that the true mission of Friends of White Flint? Residents, homeowner associations, businesses, government planners, and developers collaborating to revitalize our community, morphing aging strip malls and acres of asphalt into our home, our place.

 

Placemaking revitalized Adelaide; it can do the same for the Pike District

Adelaide Transformed

Adelaide, Australia was once a town that no one would describe as hip and fun. Now, thanks to innovative placemaking and a “what-the-heck-let’s-try-it” attitude, Adelaide is now rated by the London Sunday Times as number one on its list of the best places to live in the world.

According to an article on citiscope.org, “Adelaide’s transformation is the product of simple and inexpensive strategies for activating its public spaces. It started a few years ago with light-weight interventions such as shutting down a street to cars for a night, giving it over to food vendors and musicians, and giving those commuters a reason to linger after work. It later evolved into a sustained effort to put placemaking at the heart of how Adelaide City Council engages with the public.”‘

Splash Adelaide, the name of this program, was a fast, anything-goes approach to placemaking. Splash Adelaide projects could break any city council policy, but not break the law, creating street parties, outdoor film screenings, spontaneous orchestral performances, and urban guerilla-style vegetable gardens.  Mistakes were encouraged, as a way for city administrators to learn how to do things differently. Because the programming was temporary and experimental, there was no huge risk.

Adelaide residents, businesses, and government officials thought that public participation in placemaking could be the best tool for building community and citizen capacity over time. They believed that Splash Adelaide would both transform Adelaide’s public spaces and empower citizens to become involved.

Now doesn’t that sound like something we want in the Pike District?

How cool would this be in the Pike District?

Magical sidewalk art

Look what happens to these sidewalks when it rains!  Wouldn’t it be fun to stumble upon sidewalks that transform into magical art in the Pike District on a rainy summer day as you walk home from the gym, return to work after lunch, or even back to your car after dinner at your favorite sidewalk cafe?

Shiny new developments and walkable streets are just the start of creating a community. The little touches, like sidewalk art that magically appears in the rain, are also important to create place and community.

rainworks-1

What makes a place a place?

You may have heard of a concept called “placemaking.” While it sounds like a trendy, made-up word, it’s actually the ultimate foundation of the White Flint Sector Plan. No doubt you’re eager to learn more … (And let’s face it; outside it’s single digits with a real snowstorm on the way, so what else are you going to do?) … so here’s a quick Friends of White Flint primer on placemaking.

 

According to Wikipedia, placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being.  According to your fearless leader of Friends of White Flint, placemaking is, quite simply, how the physical parts of an area — buildings, parks, paths, etc. — and the people who live, work, and play there create that lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling of community.

Placemaking isn’t just tossing together a square of green grass, sidewalk cafe, and apartment building and calling it a neighborhood.  Placemaking is about creating a Quality Place, a space where, according to Better Cities and Towns,  “people, businesses, and institutions want to be. Such places often are alluring; they have pizzazz.”

Placemaking, says the Project for Public Spaces, shows “planners, designers, and engineers how to move beyond their habit of looking at communities through the narrow lens of single-minded goals or rigid professional disciplines. … Experience has shown us that when developers and planners welcome as much grassroots involvement as possible, they spare themselves a lot of headaches. Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated, underperforming development projects can be avoided by embracing the Placemaking perspective that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated fragments of the whole.”

Isn’t that what Friends of White Flint is truly about? Residents, homeowner associations, businesses, government planners, and developers collaborating to revitalize our community, turning aging strip malls and acres of asphalt into our place.

We’ll be writing more about placemaking over the coming weeks, but if you just can’t wait, here are a two links you may find interesting.

http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/2014/08/19/placemaking-done-right-three-successful-approaches/

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/11/01/mit-study-benefits-of-placemaking-go-deeper-than-better-places/

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