“My ideals have come home” – one person’s account of what crowdsourced placemaking is all about

For those that are interested in learning what crowdsourced placemaking is all about, rather than explain it in charts, videos and case studies, perhaps it may best be explained by how it makes a difference for a single individual.

Let’s take young Robin Messerli of the crowdsourced placemaking effort in Bristol, Connecticut, known as Bristol Rising. Here are excerpts of what she has to say…

…Bristol is my home and I wish it were a place able to thrive for the next generation…

…We don’t all feel this helpless and aren’t all this cynical, but we were raised to believe that we all do deserve better. We are all dreamers.

We dream of a Saturday afternoon, enjoying a picnic consisting of fresh produce we picked up at the farmer’s market, taking our dogs to the park, and playing some tennis, basketball or frisbee before walking home to get ready for the night. We’d all like to be able to walk to the live music venue where our friends are opening for a respectable band, walk over to the local bar and then walk back home, safely. We’d like to live down the street from where we work and take pride in our public spaces. We’d love to own our own businesses and raise our children in a town they aren’t embarrassed by. When our kids go off to college, instead of lying about where they come from, they’ll bring their friends back to this community and convince them to move back here with them after school. We want our home to represent the bright and individualistic population. We want to learn how to connect our dreams to reality. How to attract attention to our art. How to make good financial decisions and where to invest our small savings. We want the tools to make a living from our lives. We want to be happy and in better harmony with nature, not owned by our employers and jaded. We want sustainable, local businesses grown organically by true demand from the people…

…We want the culture that we have to be reflected by downtown Bristol.

I know how to write a business plan. I know how to get a band gigs. I know marketing concepts. I know how to pursue multiple streams of revenue. I know how to use core competencies to create good value, not just numbers. I know how to differentiate. I know what we need in order to turn our dreams into feasible plans. I learned skills that could be used to help lift struggling countries out of poverty through entrepreneurship, and I can’t imagine a life that isn’t dedicated to helping others. But I want a home life, a stable foundation. Until recently, I thought I’d have to move somewhere else to incorporate my education with how I want to live. I know concepts, and in deciding where to practice putting them into action, it’s a relief to know I can do that here. I know how New Urbanism can help this town. I “got out” of Bristol, but I have never found a home anywhere else.

Now that I’m involved with Bristol Rising, my ideals have come home, and they aren’t sitting in Starbucks.

This is just a third of what she has to say about it – you can read the entire post here.

  • Adrienne Travis

    This sounds like a really fantastic project!