September 6, 2017

Tense debate in Madison about "placemaking."

The Cap Times reports on last night's contentious City Council meeting about spending $40,500 to bring a New York-based company (Project for Public Spaces) to Madison to train city staff and neighborhood residents about "placemaking."
As a whole, the City Council supports the idea of placemaking or the “process of people coming together to create vibrant public spaces at the heart of their community.” However, alders expressed confusion over the purpose of the resolution with Ald. Denise DeMarb, District 16, calling it “ambiguous.”

“I think that maybe it’s placemaking, maybe it’s leadership building and perhaps it's economic development,” DeMarb said.
Note that this is intended to be responsive to a recent increase in the number of murders.

49 comments:

Rob McLean said...

Note that ("placemaking") is intended to be responsive to a recent increase in the number of murders.

Well, murderers do make a place for people: six feet under.

mccullough said...

Alders are trees. Perfect name for city council members

walter said...

A place for everything..everything in its place.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Placemaking is easy. Fork on the left, knife and spoon on the right. Everybody knows that.

YuriG said...

Alderpersons? The alderly?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The hardest thing about spending other peoples' money is making it look hard.

Steve Uhr said...

Isn't placemaking in the alders job description? I would think Madison is full of trained professional placemakers willing to placemake for free.

Comanche Voter said...

Ah heck I thought it was about teaching young folks how to set the table. Most old folks already know how. And your average street thug can whip out his gun anywhere. Maybe his pistol too. Calling Laslo for help.

Ann Althouse said...

The knife and fork, etc. is called placesetting, not placemaking.

wildswan said...

Well, see there is new trend called eco-sex. You make it with the grass or the trees. I guess it includes place making by alders.

walter said...

How could a tree possibly consent? You can't tell when they're drinking either.

Tommy Duncan said...

As a child in a blue collar home in southern Wisconsin on any given Sunday I might be asked to "make a place at the table for Aunt Meta". "Making a place" required me to (1) find a suitable chair for Meta,(2) appropriately adjust the existing chairs and (3) provide a place setting for her.

Maybe that was just the local vernacular.

wildswan said...

In reality I always thought that what with farmer's markets in the shadow of the capitol building and bike paths and lakeside parks Madison had done a lot of place making. There was also that capital building occupation which shows that placemaking can go wrong. And you know, I have the feeling that more Occupy-type placemaking is intended for Madison and that fun doesn't come into it. At all.

Then, too, if the murders are by gangs I suppose you could say they are place making and don't need help from alders. Anyhow, if they are fighting over street corners and drug selling I don't see that being deterred or affected by a brat festival or street band concert taking place on some other corner.

Michael The Magnificent said...

"Deck Chair Arranging" classes are next.

D said...

I believe you did a thorough job reporting on the Mayors placemaking efforts to rid a local graveyard of a few plaques a few weeks back. Why does he need to pay come from away types to teach this topic to staff - they already know how to follow orders, ....
(I presume "step one" in placemaking the hell out of a POW cemetary was plaque destruction (note: not statue) so that it becomes, in step two, a safer space for gathering the right mix of people who can mingle to talk about what is to be done, and who to whom.)

rhhardin said...

I recommend inner-city archery ranges.

Release your inner Sagittarius.

rhhardin said...

Women's place is making places.

buwaya said...

Considering all those murders -

You all may need a maximum-security place.

buwaya said...

"I recommend inner-city archery ranges.
Release your inner Sagittarius."

It will probably reduce the rate of murder at the cost of various injuries, and a huge amount of city liability. There may well be a pack of lawyers waiting outside for some impaled business to emerge.

MadisonMan said...

Who suggested this NY Company -- and how did they know about it? It seems like a bunch of nonsense to me, very undefined, but somewhere something must've happened to bring it to the attention of an alder.

The Cap Times will never report on that however.

Meade said...

"Alders are trees."

Trees that every other year vote themselves a salary increase. This year the trees' pay package increased by 21%. Seems like a lot of fertilizer for part-time trees who seem to mostly stand around thinking of ways to spread even more fertilizer.

D said...

"Placemaking in the Park on a Per Diem"

Leaning on an alder tree
Dreaming plans as sweet as can be
Suddenly
A bird on high
Dropped shit in my eye
Breaking my sweet reverie

Meade said...

Nice poem, D.

To continue mccullough's metaphor... tree fertilizer should encourage healthy growth but too much fertilizer will stunt growth or stop growth entirely. Salt builds up in the soil and the trees' roots (radicals) find it progressively more difficult to absorb water. Premature senescence then leads to hazards for children and other living things who walk and play and live under the trees. Removal is often very expensive.

Also, over fertilization often leads to run-off into the lakes where it feeds toxic blue-green algae which can cause brain damage in human mammals such as alders. Thus the circle of life continues. Until it doesn't.

Rob McLean said...

"Release your inner Sagittarius."

That'll only work for one-twelfth of the population.

Original Mike said...

"Note that this is intended to be responsive to a recent increase in the number of murders".

These people know their world view is completely divorced from reality, right? I mean, they have to know but are unwilling to admit it in the presence of their peers, right? Right?

Original Mike said...

"This year the trees' pay package increased by 21%."

Really?

Meade said...

Really. Their main rationale was that they hadn't had an increase since way back in 2015. I think one alder might have voted no.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Given our city's growing murder industry, it seems logical to provide places designed to attract higher concentrations of potential victims. Show the murderers what our great city has to offer!"

walter said...

This year the trees' pay package increased by 21% Seems like a lot of fertilizer for part-time trees
--
This shit ain't cheap.

The Godfather said...

This is all very funny, I agree. And it should be mocked as much as possible, by as many mockers as possible.

But the use of jargon like "placemaking" really is pernicious, particularly when done by the government. What is a normal non-woke resident of the city to make of a discussion of "placemaking"? Probably she/he will assume that this is a technical term of art that she/he is ashamed to admit to not understanding. Perhaps our High Schools should require a class in Civics in which students are taught they they should translate any word or phrase used by government officials that makes no apparent sense as "bullshit". And when they reach the age of 18 vote accordingly.

walter said...

Right..our public sector teaching kids to distrust the public sector?

Freeman Hunt said...

There could be an ad:

"I used to shoot people, but now I perfect my aim playing frisbee golf." (Smiles and turns to throw frisbee to an out of focus friend in the background.)

"I thought stabbing people was fun, but that was *before* community folk dancing!" (Begins clogging with others.)

"I poisoned my husbands, but these days I'm mastering spices." (Smiles to other woman next to her as they cook food together in a public stall.)

"I was passionate about mail bombing, but today I prefer my explosions in the sky." (Smiles at family as they enjoy a fireworks show together.)

Announcer: "Some people kill. Give them something better to do."

Shot of the four murderers together looking enthusiastically at camera. Shout in unison: "Placemaking Wisconsin!"

Meade said...

Ha ha. Well done, Freems.

walter said...

Those spots don't address money and hoes..

Gahrie said...

Right..our public sector teaching kids to distrust the public sector?

I am.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I was headed to go kill a dude for being fed up reasons."

Cut to text on blank screen: "EVERY DAY" "PEOPLE LIKE TOMMY" fade in third text slide "CHOOSE VIOLENCE"

Cut back to Tommy: "But then I saw a woman creating a whimsical chalk drawing on the sidewalk, and I was like, 'Whoa, what is this about?'"

Cut to text on blank screen: "BUT WHAT IF" "THEY COULD CHOOSE" fade in third text slide "SOMETHING ELSE"

Cut back to Tommy: "So I started watching, and her drawing was killer. It had all these weird perspective elements like there was a hole and a bird but there wasn't. I was blown away."

Cut to text on blank screen: "WHAT IF" "YOU COULD" fade in third text slide "COME TOGETHER"

Cut back to Tommy: "And then she was like, 'You want to try?' and she handed me the chalk and showed me how to do some of it. It was so cool. I forgot all about killing that dude."

Cut to text on blank screen: "WHAT IF" "THERE WERE" fade in third text slide "A PLACE"

Cut back to Tommy: "I'm so glad that that event was going on and that the city has that big sidewalk where the drawing was. Without that, who knows, I could have killed all kinds of people by now. Because there was a place with my community, I didn't kill anyone. And even to this day, I haven't killed anyone yet."

Cut to text on blank screen: fade in slide "PLACEMAKING WISCONSIN"

walter said...

No money. No pussy. No play.

walter said...

(Butt..the suggested plot lines are kinda cute)

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...The knife and fork, etc. is called placesetting, not placemaking.

The German imperative Platzmaken! --> ("Place make!) is a basic canine command auf Deutsch meaning "Sit!"

chickelit said...

The German language can be so damn literal.

Achilles said...

The Cap Times reports on last night's contentious City Council meeting about spending $40,500 to bring a New York-based company (Project for Public Spaces) to Madison to train city staff and neighborhood residents about "placemaking."

Teaching "Placemaking" is Nest Feathering.

Curious George said...

"mccullough said...
Alders are trees. Perfect name for city council members"

Madison used to have Alderman and Alderlesbians. It was hard to tell the difference, hence Alders.

Mac McConnell said...

Someone should find out whose brother-in-law in Madison's government owns the New York-based company (Project for Public Spaces).

veni vidi vici said...

The “process of people coming together to create vibrant public spaces at the heart of their community.”

Reminds me of that millennial perennial about having or joining a conversation.

Angel-Dyne said...

Freeman @ 9:30 PM: Excellent.

Ah, the pathetic, unshakeable progressive belief that community and civil society can be created from the top down, out of whole cloth (with the input of expert consultants!), where shared culture no longer exists.

Community and civil society can be destroyed from the top down, and prog utopians excel at that, I'll give them that.

FleetUSA said...

I never cease to be amazed at the number of ways governments can waste the people's money

Known Unknown said...

Wouldn't it be better to hire a company that builds safe rooms?

Meade said...

"I never cease to be amazed at the number of ways governments can waste the people's money"

HERE

(Move the slider to 3:44:00 to hear the Mayor claim something like he too never ceases to be amazed. Just before "putting that all aside." And move the slider to 2:30:00 to hear the demagogue mayor call the demagogue alder a demagogue.
And I think it's at about 3:20:00 when an alder comes up with the novel idea of giving taxpayers some of their money back. WHA?!?!?!)

EMyrt said...

rhhardin said...

I recommend inner-city archery ranges.

Release your inner Sagittarius.
9/6/17, 7:33 PM

My dad was a Boy Scout in Detroit during the Depression. His Scoutmaster showed him how to make a bow from umbrella ribs and go shoot rats in the alleys at night.