Thursday, December 6th, 2012
What are you doing to make your city a better place to live? I mean it, what are you actually doing?
It’s tempting to think that if we read (or even, like me, write) an urban blog, vote, or write the occasional letter of protest that we are doing our part. But while words, protest, and lobbying are important, they are not nearly enough.
Instead, I’ve tried to challenge myself to try to find ways to actually do something tangible, physical that contributes to civic improvement. Something beyond just my words. I was a long time free software contributor, and am glad to have been able to participate that way. I also helped drive the creation of the Indianapolis neighborhood map and online architectural tours. But that’s frankly not a whole lot.
On the other hand, if everybody challenged themselves to take on at least one personal project, whatever or however small it might be, our cities would be much better places. Many neighborhoods could benefit from just having someone committed to keeping their own block free of trash. Or may a guerrilla gardening project at some lonely, pathetic stretch of dirt on a city right of way. There are a million things that are within our grasp to actually do ourselves to make an improvement. We aren’t always dependent on somebody else to make things better. We can make a start in our own back yard.
So I’d like to challenge all of you to do that. What’s your project for improving your city? And I’ll also challenge me, as I don’t have much going on at present and haven’t made much of an impact since I moved. As we come to the end of the year, let’s all plan to make a tangible difference of some sort where we live.