Problem to Purpose: Teens Create Deterioration Answers in Colorado Springs
March 3, 2020
A Camera and $500 Turn into a Deteriorated Property Solution
“Eventually the youth started asking, ‘Why can’t we just make the changes?’” explained Mia Ramirez of The Colorado Trust.
That one powerful question spurred a student group from the Leaders Engaged and Amazingly Determined (LEAD) in Colorado Springs, Colorado to improve a deteriorated property in their neighborhood through creative placemaking. LEAD’s Hillside neighborhood youth “photovoice” project the youth identified a few places they wanted to make better, including one basketball court renovation that was completed for just $500.
Additional “wins” that came from the photovoice project included advocating for both the rehabilitation of the formerly vacant, and community eyesore, Helen Hunt Elementary School – which now has reopened with a brand new playground and educational programs such as Head Start and English as a Second Language – and the Leon Young Pavilion space, a pavilion built in memory of Colorado Springs’ first and only Black mayor.
Need Ideas for a Community Creative Placemaking Project?
Download the “Trends in Creative Placemaking on Problem Properties: 2019 National Survey Findings” for data and real case studies of communities, like Oakland, where residents are solving community challenges while fighting vacancy.
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