Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

  • Mood:

Community Building Tip: Safety Valves

For my current set of tips, I've decided to use the one I wrote based on how to make your hometown more like Bluehill in Terramagne-America. I took a close look at the town's positive features with an eye toward replicating them here with local resources.

* Safety valves. If people get tired, there are benches. If they get hungry, there are food trucks and restaurants -- in separate places to avoid direct competition. If they're restless, there are things to climb on and places to romp around, without getting yelled at. If people get overloaded, there are quiet rooms and also laid-back public spaces such as parks and libraries. Support laws friendly to food vendors, encourage climbable art, and look for places to put a quiet corner. Benches are fairly cheap and fit almost anywhere. Anyone can put a quiet room or corner in their home or business, and tack up a poster of coping skills: enormous bang-for-buck in prevention of emotional mayhem.

Benches and other seating make a community more comfortable for everyone. You can buy commercial benches in a variety of materials or make your own. Include accessible fixtures. Consider a storytelling circle in a park or plaza.

How many food trucks does your hometown have?  Food trucks are fantastic because, unlike restaurants, they can move around to prevent boredom. They also support diversity. Make your community more food-truck friendly. It's easy to add a food truck park to a parking lot or pull-through. Cities that already have a lot of food trucks may wish to dedicate a larger space to them. Look for awkwardly shaped lots or unused parking lots that you can repurpose. See a T-American example in "Can't It Just Be What It Is?"

Great restaurants make great neighborhoods. Ask local restaurants to offer healthier menus. See a T-American example in "The Discovery of a New Dish."

What are the parks like in your area?  Parks and other public places should provide lots of opportunity for physical activity. Skateable sculptures often serve many needs at once -- artwork, seating, and something to play on. Interactive stairs encourage people to climb instead of ride. Make sure your town has at least one completely inclusive playground, and that other playgrounds include at least some inclusive equipment. Fitness playgrounds encourage exercise for all ages. Bear in mind that ability levels can range from very low to very high, so offer opportunities at all levels. Especially look for chances to include multiple levels in the same piece of equipment, as in swingsets with different seating options, so everyone can play together at their own level.

Quiet rooms give people a place to rest and relax. Any public venue can easily add one, and there are different kinds to suit a range of needs. The bigger and busier a place is, the more it needs a quiet room. Include some books on coping skills.
Tags: a little slice of terramagne, how to, recurring posts
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.