What's better than a community meeting when you can't have a community meeting anyway? How do you bring people together around a problem that's only growing worse in this economy, when you can't bring people together?
We are planning a Community Vision Quest!
This project is designed to build engagement and community voice around vacant, zombie and derelict spaces. Our pilot will roll out on Buffalo's East Side this summer with partners in the Masten District Council office, area Block Clubs, and Third Estate Ventures. Community partners will place vinyl print stickers at or near targeted parcels and buildings. We have identified both problem properties and successful reuse as targets, to help raise awareness of what can be done. A local artist has been commissioned to produce the images.
An Instagram campaign will encourage folks to find these images, scan a QR code. This will take them to a site with current and historic site information. A survey link will ask the question "What do you see here?" The goal is to demonstrate what was, what is, and what can be at thiesite.
Third Estate will serve as the data collection partner, gathering survey responses and building a contact database. Responders will collect "points" for each site they respond to, incentivizing engagement. Extra credit for Instagram posting!
The goal is to engage people in creative reuse ideas, as well as gather local opinion in a fun game. This pilot project can be replicated anywhere!
All of the partners have skin in the game. Block Clubs hope to generate new interest and young voices. The Council office is looking for new ways to engage the community. Third Estate Ventures will be demonstrating their data collection and reporting in a real time project. UB and Buff State students are using the project for IT and social media courses.
Funded by Buffalo, NY (August 2020)