The lecture last night by Charles Landry for the Children’s Museum of PittsburghÂ charm bracelet projectÂ often reminded me of aÂ bad college lecture [EDIT: not for lack of effort on the part of Mr. Landry – whoÂ really triedÂ to keep it lively – just that it was a large group with uncomfortable chairs listening to 1 person speak through a microphone] (‘cept for theÂ refreshments at the end) -Â butÂ leftÂ me with some great questions to ask myself as I watch Pittsburgh’s redevelopment.Â It was my first lecture in city development, and I’ll definitely attend the remaining lectures if I am free.
The questions (roughly) were:
- What are you doing for others?
- Does it say yes or does it say no?
- If Pittsburgh were a person, would it beÂ a man orÂ a woman?
Â Â What are you doing for others?
Mr. LandryÂ thought that the Imagine Pittsburgh campaign would be more effective if, rather than focus on promoting Pittsburgh’s image, it spent its resourcesÂ doing things for the rest of the world.Â He speculated that if Pittsburgh did interesting things that benefited the rest of the world, it would attract people who were interested in the things going on in Pittsburgh.
Does it say Yes or does it say No?
Mr. Landry looked at a number of buildings and signs around Pittsburgh and the world that were just plain ugly.Â He speculated about the number of people passing in front of those buildings on any given day, and the collective unhappiness (even if only momentary) that they create.Â He also looked at signs around Pittsburgh that prohibited events (No Dogs; Do not Walk on Grass; No Skateboarding) and encouraged us to instead promote such things.
As he suggested, this also applies to people.Â Are you a part of the problem (always saying No) or a part of the solution (someone who is willing to work to provide the answer, Yes)?
If Pittsburgh were a person, would it be a man or a woman?
And what type of city do we want Pittsburgh to be?Â
The Charm Bracelet Project is just one of the many interesting projects underway by Pittsburgh residents.Â For another, check out Pittsblog’s Manifesto for a New Pittsburgh.