Last spring, a City Repair project in NE Portland caused two neighbors to meet for the first time — and they had been living across the street from each other for 20 years! We have been supporting neighbors and their projects for over ten years, and frequently find that near neighbors do not even know each other’s names. This is born out by statistics nationwide.
Let’s face it — knowing your neighbor is becoming a lost art!
This Village Building course is designed to take anyone, step by step, through a supported process of not only meeting your neighbors, but, with them, changing your little street, block or alcove into a place that radiates the idea of home.
There is a place deep within each of us that shrivels and dies when faced with living in an impersonal and dehumanized space. Humans love to put their stamp on their environment. But usually, we halt that activity right at the property line.
We invite you to step over that line, become the neighbor who gathers the others, and sets the magic in motion. In this course, you’ll see hundreds of examples of projects neighbors before you have pulled off. And the happy faces captured in the pictures of that last day — the celebration. These folks were just like you before they started — neighbors who cared about their little spot in the world, but couldn’t act in isolation.
City Repair has hosted the Village Building Convergence in Portland for 12 years. Now, we are bringing wheat we learned out to the rest of the world. We’d love to work with you and others in your city to get this started here.
Placemakers Academy is a new project that aims to better empower the communities we work with by developing and sharing educational activities and models that further the understanding of human-scale placemaking. We want our knowledge to be active and community supported so we will be providing interactive learning opportunities throughout the year.
We are currently focusing our energy on teaching Village Building Trainings in cities all around the bio-region. This is a 6-8 month course working directly on meeting neighbors and doing projects together. We’re expanding our range of travel based on solid contacts in other cities who can work with us to organize the course where they are so we can come work with them. We go where we are called!