Art VULUPS (Art as a Vehicle to Understand Land Use Planning and Sustainability) is a collaborative project in which knowledge, creativity and artistic expression are harnessed to promote sustainable land use development choices through curiosity and civic dialog engagement. Urban planners, artists, educators and civic, educational and cultural institutions have come together to participate in this unprecedented philanthropic call to make a difference by giving back to the community. Art VULUPS is made possible by the Inland Empire Section of the American Planning Association (IES/APA) and the generous in-kind support of various community-based organizations and non-profit associations.
This year an interactive space for "land use planning literacy" was created at the 2012 Riverside Neighborhood Conference. This event takes place every year to provide information, tools and activities to increase civic participation, enhance social capital and promote relationship building through workshops, presentations and interactive booths.
Our team transformed public space into a "community wall" made out of cardboard boxes. Community members attending the event were encouraged to write on a post it note their ideas, thoughts and feelings about what makes a good neighborhood or what makes a good neighbor. Many people participated by writing and posting and others by simply reading what others were writing about.
We also had interactive three-dimensional map of the City of Riverside,designed by renowned urban planner James Rojas. We conceived our own method by starting with an empty model ( except for the grid and three landmarks--Mt. Rubidoux, the Santa Ana River and Lake Evans). People then started to fill in the blanks by using "lost and found" representational objects we provided. As the morning progressed we were having a great conversations about complete communities, access to healthy foods and recreation, walkability and safety based on the model we were creating collectively.
The level of engagement and the conversations we had about land use planning and sustainability throughout the conference were certainly constructive. The participants were appreciative and our team can't wait to do it again. Above all, we had a lot of fun!
To learn more about this intervention, visit Art VULUPS >>