In Portland, there’s this pretty fantastic organization called City Repair that builds community through projects that re-transform public space into something that’s actually inviting to the public. All those cob benches and painted intersections around town? Among other things? City Repair.
I stumbled upon this City Repair site yesterday when a train was clogging the SE tracks and I thus scooted over to the pedestrian bridge to avoid having to wait like all those suckers in cars. heh.
Pretty sweet, huh? You can read about it here–apparently it’s been painted since June and, true to City Repair fashion, took all sorts of volunteer involvement from the community. Apparently the design is highly symbolic: different artists designed each of the different gears in the picture, and “the gears show that, while we are each individual, we maintain connections that are integral to keeping the community churning. The points of contact between two gears set into motion contact between other gears in the collection, overall creating a movement that is sustained by the whole group. Each part is equally necessary and essential to everyone working together.”
Aw, City Repair:)
There are also some other pretty amazing painted intersections scattered about town that I sometimes see while I’m out and about (including one in Sellwood that I biked through every day that I was teaching in Milwaukie:). This last sighting has me halfway inspired to make a more intentional effort to track them all down. Anyone out there have a favorite I should visit?:)