What About Real, Tangible Action?

This morning, I came across this New Orleans project, where residents post stickers that look like “Hello My Name Is…” stickers, but instead say “I Wish This Was…”, followed by a handwritten wish for the location the sticker is posted.

It’s a lot like this project, really; it’s based on imagining something for your surroundings as a basis for one day making these imagined possibilities come true.

But what are the people in New Orleans doing to make their home a better place to live? What am I doing? Is imagination enough?

I’ve tried, though likely not enough, to suggest courses of action to help London acheive its potential on this blog: things like applying politial pressure or starting with changes on a personal level that might grow to larger changes in the urban environment. I’ve also tried to connect with other people and groups in London who have an interest in making change happen.

But the problem still remains, when tackling issues like “how to make London a better place”, where do you even really begin? At the Emerging Leaders Idea Salon, our main response to the question of “If you were to transform Dundas, what would you do first?” was “Make a plan and stick to it”. But we didn’t make a clear statement about what that plan should be. We just listed a few vague “problems” we thought Dundas was facing.

So I don’t mean to be a cynic, but when our thoughts on London are based half on complaints and half on imaginary futures, how can citizens really make a difference?


2 responses to this post.

  1. This is something I’ve thought about a great deal this year after completing a number of fun projects that question our city, it’s past and current ways of doing things. I’ve been trying to think of the best way to move forward, and actually take some form of action (not in the illegal rebellious form of the word) to make some type of meaningful change. I’ve got some ideas about this but it’s going to take a greater collective to accomplish thing.


  2. Posted by KNau on December 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    The challenge is that what would make the CBD a place that people want to visit is in direct opposition to the social agenda that gets tacked on to these projects.

    Unless you like the idea of Rover getting his paws stuck with used needles at the dog park you’re going to need a hard-ass Rudy Giuliani type to sweep the streets clean first.

    If Fontana stands by his pledge to kick panhandlers out of the core then you have a shot at your redesign. If it’s shot down by the crybabies then it’s another decade of empty storefronts, drug dealers and drunken fistfights.


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