Designing for Civic Pride

Greg Haley calls for engagement processes that encourage communities to have ownership and civic pride in a project.

I think for me, I would come at it with an urban design perspective. For me, what that brings to mind immediately is public interaction. It’s about convening, design that creates opportunities for people to interact. I think that’s what cities are about, but it has to have some flexibility and choice. You can’t force that — you just have to provide those opportunities and allow people to tune their environment, to interact when they want to and in different ways and at different scales. It needs to be accessible, flexible, and comfortable…

I think it also plays into our process, right? With a lot of our public projects, particularly our master planning projects, there’s always a public process to them. An example of engagement, getting people excited, and building consensus early on in projects would be our work at Union Station in LA. We reached out and worked with an artist to create these day-in-a-life scenarios of different people that would use the station in different ways as a means of engaging with people to understand what the proposals might mean, and to encourage people to develop a sense of ownership through understanding it early on and so that it becomes in a way their project.

Greg Haley

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Grimshaw Architects