Every month at the USGBC Emerging professional meeting a member presents on a topic of choice. They are always diverse and fascinating. This week was no different.
Aliza Vaida did the short presentation: Resilience Through Public Art and Placemaking. Her main focus was on the importance of collaboration throughout a community placemaking strategy. She revealed with case studies and statistics how public art and placemaking can be agents of change. And through community engagement, the benefits are significantly more lasting and impactful.
Aliza has put her passion for art and sustainable design to work through the non-profit Neighborways. Aliza is working with the City of Everett on street calming strategies. Neighborways works closely with the community to pick streets that will become part of a pedestrian and cycle-friendly network. An exciting piece of the Everett strategy will be a collaborative street calming mural.
As the presentation at the EPMA meeting came to a close the maps, pads of paper, markers, pens and color pencils came out. Aliza had the attendees break into two groups. First, they had to look at the map of Everett and draw out a network of streets they felt best-connected schools and the Northern Strand Bike Path. Once that was agreed upon they had to collaborate on a street mural. It was great to see all those creative juices flowing. Aliza suggested designing the mural in a way that avoided car tread as much as possible. Each group created a few designs and then brought them together into one master mural. Ocean themes reigned supreme! It was a fun night of learning and coloring!