The latest funding opportunity from the Social Innovation Exchange (SiX) is here! The Sprout Fund has issued a Request for Proposals to support a Creative Placemaking Event that would catalyze community action around the many gateways and corridors that connect Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.
During the month of February, the Gateways & Corridors Working Group met to continue a conversation about civic design solutions related to gateways and corridors that began at January’s Social Innovation Exchange (SiX) and workshop opportunities to enhance regional gateways and neighborhood corridors through actionable, grassroots projects that could be catalyzed for $10,000.
Through an iterative review process and facilitated dialogue, the designers, architects, and developers who made up the Gateways & Corridors Working Group explored six opportunities ranging from design competitions to awareness campaigns. The working group identified Events & Festivals as the most feasible opportunity and the one most likely to galvanize community support and civic engagement at the neighborhood level.
Making Places Happen
So what is Creative Placemaking? It’s a collaborative community process that enables people to enhance the unique sense of identity that is found in distinct common spaces. Gateways and corridors help define these spaces by communicating the sense of place visually and physically.
As architect and planner Paul Tellers puts it:
Pittsburgh is known as a city with distinct neighborhoods. The uniqueness and diversity of city neighborhoods enriches city living. A neighborhood’s character can be enhanced by a well-defined gateway, signaling to the visitor that they have arrived at a welcome destination. Some Pittsburgh neighborhoods have marked their gateways with signage, public art, or landscaping—
- The gateways to Deutschtown on E. Ohio Street and to Bloomfield on Liberty Avenue are celebrated with wall murals.
- The eagle sculptures on the abutments of the Boulevard of the Allies Bridge over Forbes Avenue enhance the gateway entrance to Oakland.
- Heroic horse sculptures on Stanton Avenue mark the entrance to Highland Park…
Gateways in the city mark the boundaries or limits of urban corridors, which are the clusters of uses centered on a main street. A city corridor has a single identity defined by its primary activity, such as a retail corridor, a manufacturing corridor, or an arts corridor…A corridor can be the centerpiece of a neighborhood, and the gateway to the neighborhood occurs on the corridor. *
While Pittsburgh is home to some 90 neighborhoods, the gaps that exist between these communities can sometimes appear more like barriers than connections. Pittsburgh’s iconic bridges often span communities that have shared issues and concerns. Thus, they present an opportunity to inspire collaboration between neighborhoods and celebrate the connections that exist in our city.
This grant offers a chance to bring neighborhoods closer together through celebration. Proposals are invited for events or festivals and begin community conversations about two or more communities’ current infrastructure and future aspirations for the bridges, gateways, and corridors that connect them.
Request for Proposals: Creative Placemaking
Proposals are requested from multiple partnering neighborhood groups and/or interdisciplinary teams for a creative placemaking event that is not limited to but may include programmatic elements such as:
- Promoting bridges and connections between neighborhoods
- Celebrating neighborhood / city pride
- Showcasing neighborhood assets
- Catalyzing new partnerships / collaborations
- Raising awareness of bridges
- Public art
- Health and wellness activities
- Soliciting community feedback about plans and priorities
- Collecting information / data / stories about bridges
- Concerts and performances
* Adapted from Notes on Civic Design, an introduction by Paul Tellers commissioned by The Sprout Fund.