Although not particularly hands-on, today was definitely mentally active and engaging. Speakers Reiko, a history professor who teaches at Lewis & Clark College, and Lew, a former PDC manager came and talked to us about urban renewal and public space. Reiko’s presentation consisted of many images about public spaces and a more presentation about the ownership, importance, and surprising exclusivity of public spaces. Everyone including myself was in awe by the time she finished her enlightening speech. In reflection of her talk, many PLACE participants spoke of how she opened their eyes into ways they had never thought of being exclusive such as bum-proof benches, sky paths, and privately owned public space rules.
Retired PDC manager, Lew, also gave a very compelling speech about urban renewal. Many of his arguments were in opposition to Reiko’s earlier presentation. Lew took a more financial-minded perspective on urban renewal and how to create a better city which in my opinion is the unfortunate reality in today’s world. Today, everyone at PLACE gained new perspectives and ways of thinking on urban renewal and exclusion which opened our minds to become better citizens and be more aware of our surroundings.