links for 2009-06-14

  • "Ever dreamed of making the streets outside your abode more livable, pedestrian-friendly, and community-oriented? City Repair in Portland, Oregon hosts an annual Village Building Convergence where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communites and to take back their streets via a process known as the Intersection Repair. This involves painting streets with a high-visiblity mural that creates a public square for residents to gather and one which gently encourages drivers to slow down when approaching these spaces. Over time the neighbors further enhance the transformation by adding amenities like benches, community bulletin boards, and introducing gardens & art. As you'll see, the possibilites are endless. StreetFilms visited three of the Intersection Repairs and spoke with Mark Lakeman co-founder of City Repair, Greg Raisman, the Portland DOT Liason, and scores of residents & volunteers about why they were doing it."
  • "Paint the Pavement (PtP) is a volunteer-led program that promotes “placemaking” through neighborhood art. Our primary focus is in St. Paul, Minnesota, where we help groups of neighbors organize to design and create their own public square or public street art on their low-traffic residential streets. Neighbors come together, design a painting, petition for approval by the City of St. Paul, and hold a “paint day” to create and celebrate their own community square.

    Through the process of creating the community square, social connections and relationships between neighbors increase and improve, strengthening the ability of a community to respond to issues and opportunities and to take care of one another. The benefits of placemaking by street painting are multiple: development of relationships and social networks; creation of a community gathering place; calmed traffic; crime prevention; and a local neighborhood identity."

  • "How can neighbors exercise ownership of their neighborhood, make it more attractive, reduce crime and create traffic calming?

    How about painting the intersection like Portland does."

  • "The city passed an ordinance to encourage 'intersection repair' in all 96 neighborhoods of Portland. Today, with the help of an informal organization called City Repair, citizens are invited to design paintings for the centers of intersections and creative public spaces on the four corners. Portland's ordinance requires that 80 percent of neighbors within two blocks sign statements approving the plan."
  • "René Guénon or Abd al-Wahid Yahya (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science and traditional studies to symbolism and initiation.

    In his writings, he proposes either 'to expose directly some aspects of Eastern metaphysical doctrines',[3] these doctrines being defined by him as of 'universal character' or 'to adapt these same doctrines [for western readers] while keeping strictly faithful to their spirit'; he only endorsed the function of 'handing down' those Eastern doctrines, while stating their 'non-individual character'."