The 💚💜💙💛 work of placemaking
Ace in the City is deepening our roots in the work of placemaking. For many, the word placemaking might be new or unfamiliar to you. While humans have been doing this work since the beginning of time, it has only been commonly used over the last 10-15 years and is this idea of examining the spaces we have and realigning them toward greater communal flourishing.
Last week, I introduced a visual to conceptualize the work of placemaking:
We believe placemaking lives at the center of our heart, soul, strength and mind. Love is the only way to get us there.
The HEART of placemaking examines our culture & hospitality and is generally concerned about answering these two questions:
- Do guests feel welcome and seen when they visit your space?
- What is the likelihood of a guest coming back to visit again?
I distinctly remember visiting a local coffee shop a few years back. It was new to the neighborhood and the Insta pictures were incredible. Their attention to detail immaculate and the way they infused the interior design with local art was inspiring. And then I visited….
The two baristas seemed more content chatting it up with each other than in engaging their clientele. Perhaps it’s just me, I thought, but after staying for awhile to do some work, I noticed the same interactions with every customer. The experience was cold, unwelcoming and unpleasant, as if they were upset we were there to give them business. I never came back and didn’t second guess it one bit.
As sexy as it might sound, we are not interested in just being church flippers. (It would make for a good HGTV show, though, am I right?!?) Renovating space is good work. It matters. BUT more important than the physical work is the culture work. It’s the practice of hospitality. More people walk away disoriented, alone or hurt because of people than any lack of a shiplap wall or mosaic tile.
The HEART work of placemaking concerns itself with this, with how we live into and inhabit the spaces we call home. Grateful for the community investing into this good work of belonging alongside Ace in the City!
Love is the way,