- The Awards
- The RFPs
- Top 20 Concepts
- Alternative Transportation Day
- Art Aware
- Bus Stop Info Hub
- Carrie Furnace Green
- Community Exchange Club
- Community Use Space
- Consumer Recycling Network
- Greater Pittsburgh Web Hub
- Hot Spot Signs
- Information Kiosks
- Manchester Climbing Wall
- Mix Burgh
- Neighborhood Cleanup Competition
- Pittsburgh Guidebook
- Raise the Green Roof
- Signature Festivals
- Sustainable Urban Farming Initiative
- Yellow Bike Project
- Youth at the Table
- Big Idea Book
- Image Galleries
Community Use Space
bricks and mortar | low income | mentors | neighborhoods | outreach | revitalization | space | youth
A summary of the idea, the needs it serves, and a description of a possible pilot program
A key part of a community is the commons-flexible, accessible, communal space serving a variety of functions. This need is especially important in underserved, depressed, or blighted areas.
This concept would provide for a network of multipurpose meeting spaces in underserved areas by reclaiming and repurposing vacant buildings. These sites would provide a safe space for all residents, and a starting point for building community and cooperation.
The space could hold monthly community meetings, provide space for support and discussion groups, bring culture (music, performance, art, education) and politics (dialogue, advocacy, activism, leaders) together in one space. A small staff of volunteers could respond to queries and direct people to the services, people, and institutions they need.
Support for activities could be raised by donations, fundraisers, in-house event programming, and space leasing.
A pilot site could be deployed in a test community by joining with already active groups and individuals in their community. The pilot period could be a season, during which promotional activities like workshops, concerts, community fundraisers and feasts would act as a membership drive. During the drive, the staff and organizing committee of the space would showcase the ways they will support the community.
These ideals are integral to a successful project design
- safety and accessibility
- maintaining a neutral space
- responding to the community's specific use needs
Possible difficulties, pitfalls, and obstacles to consider
- ownership and staffing of the site
- duplicating the work of standing community organizations
- finding and securing long-term funding support
Learn more about the idea, from genesis to dialogue
Community Use Space was a common idea at the Round Up with a number of models being considered.
Our Space, led by Dana, Cecelia, Tim, and Lauren, had a political component of bringing ‘Movers and Shakers' together with their constituents for town-hall discussions. Our Space was organized around ‘common goals' and the space served political ends rather than community-defined needs.
Project Exposure, led by Tanya, Brianna, and Joanne, was focused on providing a space for youth in underserved areas.
Get to know these groups, organizations, projects, and authorities, their current and past activities, the possibility for consultation or partnership, and in-roads to collaboration.
These important questions are asked of each idea. Try your hand at answering them as a way to explore the idea and how to make it happen. Answers to these questions help to demonstrate the Idea's strength and potential for success.
- What level is the idea at? (Research, Planning, Fundraising, Advocacy, Deployment, other (explain))
- What is a reasonable next step/phase for the concept? How can investment move the idea forward?
- What other resources or opportunities are available or necessary to make the idea happen?
- What existing activities or organizations in Pittsburgh duplicate some or all of the program components? How can this idea compete with, complement, and/or learn from these other activities?
- Who should be included in this discussion? Does the concept call for outside consultation or assistance from other organizations?
- How should the idea be promoted?
- How should project success be measured?
- What questions should be asked of a proposal for this project?
These questions address some of the anticipated programmatic concerns that come with administering small projects. Consider them test questions for model projects-- responses should be incorporated into the project's design.
- Where will the pilot space be located?
- How will the project secure the selected space and who will own it?
- What will the hours of operation be?
- What programs, services and events will be housed in the space?
- How will the management of the space be organized?
- How will the model be duplicated?