Anyone who has spoken with me, or has attended a council meeting, recognizes that I value community. Protecting, building, and advocating on behalf of community, in all its forms, is what attracted me to politics, and still serves as my “north star” during any decision making process.
One critical aspect of fostering community is the actual placemaking process itself—that is, how we construct the built urban environment all around us. I would argue, that the council’s most powerful tool is our ability to affect the zoning code in order to mandate creating great public spaces, where all people are encouraged to congregate and share in each other’s lives.
Recent studies prove what we already know, which is, that placemaking strategies actually do improve health outcomes. As underscored by the Urban Land Institute and the Center for Active Design, issues like, the ability to be physically active, access to healthy food and drinking water, and exposure to a healthy environment with a high degree of social interaction, are important to the health and wellbeing of our community.
I wanted to share this article from Resilience.org on the importance of placemaking, which I believe you will enjoy: