Saturday morning big session
Tim -- How can we enable their creative voice in Braddock ' their sense of the potential for creative change. ' for this afternoon?
1. How do we influence public places and what are the issues?
2. Are there simple evocative ideas we can put on the table for discussion to externalize creative authorship?
What are some key public realm issues in the Mon valley?
1. Aging population ' in Duquesne 70% of the people will die in the next ten years ' the and the flight of youth at the same time ' structure of towns open to complete collapse
2. Feudalistic culture of this culture ' structure of the econ around industry and how politics work here and psychology of individuals
3. The company is no longer the decisionmaker -- first time this true
4. Industrial degradation
5. Race and economic issues ' the way these two are intertwined ' also intertwined with environmental degradation
6. Budget ' city budget collapse
7. Environmental issues'degradation of the land and hazards associated therewith
8. Mon Fayette xpressway
9. Changes in historical non relationship to the river ' or used to have relationship ' don't have know ' want to build/ rebuild
10. Water quality
11. Return of recovery
12. Disparity btw one town flourishing and one falling
13. Scale of the power/ boundaries ' no ability to address regional issues ' each town like small fiefdom
14. Civic imagination ' need it
Stephanie Facilitates Toolbox idea recap
Aka what are some methodologies which we found to focus around
How to organize across disciplines
Helen et al Information and research ' the acquiring imparting and thereof ' teaching how to do it and doing it ourselves
Helen Erica -
Christine - Team building ' being collaborative
And makng alliances
Jane-- Cheek ' intellectual, radical, bring very carefully such ideas to table but the cheeky idea goes farIn other words -- moxy
Contesting received histories and power structures
Jane --Taking risks, cheeky but is that more fun
Anti-manifesto approach 'nicola ' can't comment on a situation of which you are not a part ' local embedded knowledges are key ' cannot operate without them
Brett -- Oral history collecting is part of the info gathering ' but important enough for own category
Jackie' In other words -- Anecdotal evidence
Putting this list into bigger categories
Opinions on what those categories should be'
Information ' Formal and less formal
We are out of time/'..
Break-out session Saturday AM
Studio for Creative Enquiry
Tim : What we need to do is prepare for this afternoon. If we nitpick every word, we could fall flat on our faces
Q: What would failure look like?
Tim: Not presenting anything, not having something to put on the table
We have certain strength between us, we've worked with planners before and it hasn't been what we're looking for. We have you here to bring something different but we need to come to something clear to present in this session this afternoon. . .
Q: So, what are we trying to do?
Ask the question 'What would improve your quality of life here''
This may not be effect, not focused
Jackie: Are we trying to effect public space?
Laurie: perhaps think not about physical space, but publicness ' 'What do you see as your shared resources'' Could be history, could be environmental quality, could be
Tom: yes, pushing this too broad, the whole planet could be considered public space
People understand the physical, try to stay close to that
I think people have a deep understanding of their shared resources
The question is 'what do you want to do''
What do you want to do about it'
Jon: Planners ask what's good, what's bad, what do you want to do about it
We should keep this model in mind
Mark: Even people who don't officially have any ownership of the space
Jon: similar to your project, responded to something that was dropped in public space
Laurie: what about opening up the view of those who come, is this possible'
Jane: you must listen as closely as possible. See what people's fears are
Fears are important, what are the deeper fears when you're only seeing the surface
Jane: goes back to the idea of the means and the ends being the same
Christine: backing up, how are we going to identify who we are that we're talking to'
Tim: everyone will introduce themselves
Tim: so is this an activity' Discussing who is not here'
Mark: could do this at the end, after the discussion has progressed a bit, see what is missing, who could be helpful
Question could be 'what are your fears'
These people are not being compensated, what brings them here' What are they interested in putting in their time'
Mark: how were we introduced to them' What are they going to be expecting'
Tim: The invite has gone out
on an email list. We have a crew of
people who are consistent participants.
Has been sent out in
Tim: maybe, the images may be hard to read
Jon: going back to questions, could ask 'what do you see as your public space'
Shared resources question is for later, how do we mobilize':
Jane: why this area'
Tim: it's one of the river towns, brownfields needn't be there
Angelo: Who are the players' Does the community know that there are DEP and other agencies that could be involved in this conversation
Tom: what do people need to know about Braddock (these people here)
Tim: should we do a brief intro'
Angelo: it should be repeated on the bus
But who will be there'
Jon: mostly outsiders, interested in your work, same as at the lecture probably
Christine: so what do these people look to get and what do we get from them'
Jane: how do we create conditions in which a real exchange takes place. The who is here who isn't here question is important. . . it's about influence. You can't influence without setting up a situation for exchange. But it think we can create that environment
Tim: I think we will have people who are aware and experience with how these issues work and how to create change. Sierra Club, etc
So let's have the info about the Mon valley now
Tom: it's on the
Laurie: will the mills continue'
Tom: probably yes
Laurie: and do the people working there live in the town'
No most live outside the town
Tim: people how make a good wage usually move out to suburbs
The mills don't pay taxes to the town, it' s just outside the boundary
What was the population'
Tim: to give so perspective: it looks like Squirrel Hill boarded up
Laurie: what is the unemployment rate'
Tom: high, it's cut up by railroad tracks, both above and by the river
Jackie: property prices, are those 15-20K like we talked about last nigh'
Yes this is connected the Mon-Fayette expressway plan, why invest when it's going to be sold'
A dam separates the town from the river
Jackie: is there any possibility of stopping this'
Tim: American's have stopped highway building all over the country
Who will benefit from this highway
Developers mainly, developing will be happening outside the city,
Jackie: Strategies for conversation
Christine: there are people who've been dreaming about this highway, you may alienate them if you come in against it
Jackie: so how do we build momentum without coming in on one side or the other, but start the convo
Tim: GZ has offered an alternative
Jon: working with sustainability organization, plan is to update existing roads and add a few pieces to reenergize existing communities rather than encouraging sprawl. We had traffic people do studies which showed that our plan would be more efficient at do what the MFE was proposed to do. This stressed them out. So they reinterpreted our plan to show that it would cost most more, cost more houses etc. So they presented this to the public and we had to debate with them publicly. They being Turnpike Authority and others. They're still working on a final study which will be presented to Govt. to show it's mitigating environmental impact
been seen as a way of connecting
Build quality of life and things will branch out naturally
This is just one issue, we need to think more generally
Jane: a good question can be 'What is taboo'' this can be tricky, you have to handle it carefully in small groups, but it surfaces hidden or shared knowledge about what should and shouldn't be talked about. It connects to fears and who is not here. Don't know if there's enough time to do this today, I think you have to do this very responsibly.
Mark: we could ask 'what are the coooky crazy ideas, ther really out there ones' they might not take it to a planner, but they might say them to artists
Tim: they've been asking for a 40ft steelworker, they want public art
Jane: in Bulgaria, we were working with people got them to gather. Asked this and realized it had to do with their Turkish roots and what had happened to Turkish people there, they had had to change their names etc. And as these things came out one by one, they community realized this commonality. If you want to change things, you have to know what are the unspoken norms. It was not practical, but about sharing and trust
Jackie: In the process of her project which became very intimate over the time period she was working sculpting people's feet, she came to ask more and more challenging questions, had a women scream at her about here outrage at the racial injustice she'd experienced, but the said she sees god in everyone and hugged Jackie
Grant: What is the potential that will be a troupe of white people tromping into this black community'
Tim: very possible, we've encountered this before, I look for your suggestions
Jane: in England Black Environment Network, they are actually changing policy. There are people doing work on this question
25 minutes left
Jon: we've thrown out 15 or 20 questions, can we clarify these
What is Taboo, what are you afraid of, do we ask these'
Who is not here is important
What's the first question'
Christine: I think we need to know who is at the table first 'who are you''
Jane: big is question ' tell us about you. We should ask biggest most general question first ' tell us about you, what comes out and in what order will tell us so much
Jackie: I think how big is here comes first cause we need to know where we're talking about. Where/how big is here
Tom: if it's the audience from lecture the other day, then how big is here is very different than if it's people from Braddock, largere boundry
Tim: we have to deal with the fact that we're all outsiders
Jane: will we be in two groups
Tim: We can split into 4 groups, we usually define topics for each table and let people choose what conversation to be part of
Angelo: could present a problem if there are more of us than them
Tom: is there a ratio we're looking for'
Christine: we could go find people to bring in from Braddock
Jackie: questions, what is good what is not, what can you do about it, what do you feel that you can't do
Christine: yes we ask ' where do you need help to do''
Jackie: do we introduce the word change'
Mark: how do you change here' And how does here change you'
Jane: the question of what do you need help with is important, raise up people's imagingations. Is there money set up to do something in Braddock. If not we need to be clear that this is just an exploratory project.
Laurie: this goes back to self-organization. What we can do is get people to see what they can do on their own.
Tim: we're looking to set up 2 maybe 3 storefront resource sites in the area. Grant, suggestions about race issue'
Grant: canvas the crowd that comes, what names can you get there'
Mark: put out information to try to find people
Jackie: in NY there's an environmental justice group, is there one here, they could be partners
Tim: I don't know, we've looked into it and our solution is to hire someone
Tom: what organizations are there
Jon: maybe question is what is your network'
This is the first step in establishing that network
Tom: there is an organization doing something about public awareness in Braddock ' I don't know where this came from
Jon: I think UPMC has a site there and they may be doing some community work
Jackie: at some point we should ask about priorities
Mark: we should ask them to ask us what we should do for them
Tom: we asked the Cree and they said go home and solve your own problems
Tim: I've been told these communities want to do things, they don't want to talk
Tim and Reiko will be left with this
Mark: we still might be able to help even though we're not present after this ' phone conference etc. help with how do you get funding, etc so we can maintain that contact even though we're not physically here
Christine: and that connects mon valley to the world
Mark F: could ask about what's already happening
Tom and Angelo: it's essential to spend time getting ot know the town
Tom: large houses on the hill seem to be the affluent and then there's the flats
Jon: the train tracks run through the hill
Tim: this is the beginning of a dialogue, if oyou could write us with a critical response to the process, how it could be done better, that would be ideal
Tim: we've worked in McKeesport, Homestead, we haven't been in Braddock. Mon-Fayette Expressway runs through. It has national park potential. We need to spend time and build relationships there
Tom: there actually is a taboo here around talking about Braddock. It's taken the worst impact of decline.
Tim: a mantenance person here owns a bar there and has a strong opinion about outsiders coming in. There's energy building there and we can add to that.
Tom: there is industry there.
Jackie: are there active churches there'
Tim: yes church knits together these depressed community
Jackie: what do you mean 'the worst' most economically depressed'
Tom: yes, you don't hear about it on the news for shootings and things like that.
Jon: It had been so flourishing at one point, it was such a stark change
Tom: it was also not defined by ethnicity originally
Tim: it's a fundamentally troubled community
Tom: it's a fertile ground, not many people are trying to work there
Tim: one of the primary things I take from these three days in the idea of the network. We will have to see if the relationships emerge
Tom: having people from out of town will help us locals see what we're so familiar with that we don't even see.
Angelo: I think all of this tells us we need to spend more time learning about the town
Tim: questions I would ask: what is the relationship to the river
Jackie: find a less abstract way to ask about public spaces
Tim: so 'are there any parks' this is access to the river ' people fish, but they have one of the work sewer drainage
Jackie: not are there parks, but are there places you can envision becoming public spaces
Tim: we're actively looking for storefronts for 3Rivers 2nd Nature to work out of
Christine: that's a seed. . .
Mark: do people eat the fish for food'
Tom: yes they eat it, the warning is 'don't eat fish out of the Mon' but they think it looks ok to me
Tim: there are people out of work and food fishing
We're looking at public space issues I hope to be able to site a lot of storefronts, We're open to dialogue. Today isn't about projects, it's about talking amongst ourselves and coming up with a plan for how do we create change.
Angelo: yes but inspite of all this talk, many people will expect an outcome
Tim: and we do work toward outcomes
Mark: it could resonate after the 3 hours
Yes for us, but we walk away
But for them also
Tim: 3 Rivers 2nd Nature won't walk away
This is important to tell them
Jackie: we should present the variety of ways of working: specific sites, performances and events
Mark F: we should present ourselves as outsiders so we're clear. We're here to help you see and think about creative solutions.
Jane: Cheryl is an example of a meeting like this really taking off
Laurie: something that isn't immediately perceptible. How do we get them to make a picture of this thing that isn't immediately acceptable, but that can be worked toward. There are two modes of working, visionary futures and tangible, achievable goals.
Tim: Mon Valley initiative is the network, they talk to each other but Braddock is the wild card
Jackie: but that sounds like a very official group, what about connecting individuals to individuals
Tim: they have personal connections throughout the valley: friends and families
What are the topics at the tables'
Jackie: people want to see change is possible. It's about time, what is possible in the short term and the long term
What do yo uwant to see 30 years down the line'
Jane: older people, many people don't talk to them, but this long term vision is important
Tom: many of them might not have much fight left in them
But artists can draw something out
Braddock Town Meeting
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