How you can build a community one block at a time

The recent Art of Community event was full of inspiring people and ideas. I was among a couple hundred people dedicated to creating and instigating cooperative culture. Now that’s my kind of fun.

This post shares one of the highlights from the event, a community building activity, that I really want to pass along.

What if we didn’t accept the limitations enforced by property lines?

One joy of participating in the weekend was the opportunity to play the Block Repair Game!

In a session led by Mark Lakeman of The City Repair Project, we got to redesign a city block as if the people who lived there had the vision and power to take down fences, use the existing housing infrastructure, and transform their block into a village!

How fun is that?

It was encouraging to consider that we don’t have to accept all the limitations of our built environment. The game was a real 3D design opportunity complete with choosing pathways, functional shared spaces, tons of food production and onsite composting, water capture and storage, and renewable energy.

The extra cool thing is that this wasn’t just an exercise in possibility, this kind of thing is actually happening in Portland! Check out this playful video…

Mark Lakeman on Urban Permaculture

This certainly helps prove that if it can happen in sprawling suburbs, it can happen anywhere!

Let us each accept the challenge to look at our houses and neighborhoods, exactly as they are right now, and imagine what it would look like if we felt connected to the people around us.

If you would like the opportunity to think outside of the neighborhood box, then you are in luck! Mark Lakeman will be presenting again soon in Bay Area!

He will be at PLACE for Sustainable Living in Oakland (October 18th, 2012 from 7:30 to 10p) speaking about the initiatives and processes of The City Repair Project.

I’ll see you there!

Cassandra