blog banner
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program

Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program


♪ (music) ♪ Kara: The enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program addresses public spaces and their role in improving quality of place by helping neighborhoods, communities, and regions plan and prepare for a vibrant future. Public spaces are broadly defined as parks, waterfronts, town squares, green way trails, and community buildings anywhere that people can gather and experience social interactions and build a sense of community. The program is designed to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders and individuals from the region including local leaders and decision makers such as parks boards and planning commission members and their staff and organizations whose missions include programs and management of public spaces in the community. Chris: Well it’s been great because stakeholders are around the table and we’re having that dynamic conversation. We’re getting different points of view that we haven’t had before from our young individuals to our young at heart and we’re building consensus across the communities so when we create this bold new vision for the downtown it’s wrapped around this idea of quality of life and quality of place We as a team of stake holders throughout the community will be able to effectively advocate for that and having a unified voice when it comes to bold quality of life projects is so very important in terms of seeing them through to fruition and I think this workshop is really bringing that goal to the table and we’re accomplishing that well. Michael: To often in our communities here in Indiana our public spaces are thought of as a place that needs to be kept looking nice. The lawn is mowed and their aesthetically pleasing The Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program takes a look at our public spaces and considers them from multiple dimensions rather than just a single dimension. We do this by considering the community capitals. The community capitals is a framework that allows us to look at our public spaces in a new way with different lenses. The community capitals include built capital, natural capital, human capital, social capital, cultural capital, financial capital, and political capital. Often times when we plan in our communities we take a deficit approach where we look at what we don’t have and what we would like to have. Enhancing the value of of public spaces we take an asset based approach. To do that we consider the community capitals I’ve discussed and we take each one of them and list out all of the assets that we have within those community capitals within our public spaces. By doing so we consider what we have rather than what we don’t have and by considering what we have, we can then decide how we use what we have in order to to a enhance the value of public spaces. Appreciative inquiry is a process where we appreciate what we have and we talk about what we desire to see in the future. And so we encourage communities to dream about what they would like their public spaces to look like and how they would like them to functino. Chris: A downtown Frankfort’s beautiful. We have 1 of the longest standing Main Street Programs in the state of Indiana but we want to create a bold new vision for our downtown that attracts and grows a population that builds a workforce so that we can fill the jobs we are creating. And that was really the impetus in bringing Purdue University here to carry out this workshop. Michael: So taking you through the appreciative inquiry process we work with community members and decision makers to make decisions about they would like to see in their communities and how they would get there. How they would get there not by trying to go and get a grant or by going and using things you don’t currently have. We look at what you do have and try to reach these goals through a comprehensive process that will take you through not only developing strategies but also taking those strategies and taking a look at the indicators that will tell you if whether you’ve gotten there or not and whether you’ve succeeded. The Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program is dedicated to inclusion, making sure that everyone’s point of view is considered, accessibility that everyone has access to our public spaces, and the process that we use in enhancing the value of public spaces is all about interactivity. While Purdue Extension stands at the ready to help you and and walk you through this process, we’ve also developed a curriculum and this curriculum really is a how to recipe of walking through the Enhanced Curriculum in the Value of Public Spaces Program and that curriculum is available at the Purdue Extension Education Store. You can purchase the curriculum and actually you yourself facilitate that process in your community. The Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program starts with a 5 hour workshop. It’s a highly interactive workshop where Purdue Extension professionals come and facilitate a conversation about your public spaces. We teach you about the a community capitals, and we walk through the a appreciative inquiry process. At that the end of that day using our interactive worksheets you have data that you can use to help build your comprehensive plan and Purdue Extension is with you all along the way from the educational piece at that 5 hour workshop to smaller workshops working with dedicated community members that want to make a difference with their public spaces. And we do that through smaller planning processes all along the way. These will be several meetings that will follow the 5 hour workshop. Ultimately what comes out of that is not only all of the data in the worksheets, but a plan that you can use. Kara: A completed public spaces high quality action plan can be used in a variety of ways including comprehensive plan updates, parks and recreation master plan updates, and fundraising initiatives. Chris: Purdue University is a place of excellence. We want to surround ourselves with that excellence so we are learning from Purdue University. They are forcing us to have conversations and challenging us in ways that we simply have never been before in our community. So it’s great to have that stakeholder in the room that focuses us a on the academia side of government and quality of life and quality of place in our community. I can’t say enough about the program. The people are outstanding. The conversations been outstanding and I can’t wait to see where Frankfort goes from here. ♪ (music) ♪

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *