One day, something small happened that was significant.
A family that lived across the street from me decided to move their trampoline into the front yard of their house.
They have two energetic, small children that love to be outside. The trampoline’s springs are broken, but hey, it is still lots of fun for a 2-year old. Being in the front yard was important because people could see them, and they could see other people. It is social space.
The noisy, family fun on a sunny morning soon brought the neighbours outside. They are a Hazara family that recently escaped persecution in Afghanistan. I am a new migrant to the neighbourhood myself, but hadn’t seen the family much in my time here.
As kids do, they wanted to join in the fun. Their father lifted them gently over the waist-high fence and they made straight for the trampoline. They needed some help to get up, but were soon laughing in delight with new-found friends.
Making a better place can be as simple as being outside of the front of your home – on your verandah, balcony, front garden, driveway or even on the foot path. Driveway drinks is now part of the culture of some suburbs in these COVID times.
Transition Town Guildford suggests 10 easy ideas for creating a PLAYbourhood in this article.
A global celebration of these humble ways to build safer, more connected communities will be launched as Porch Placemaking Week from 30 May to 5 June 2020.
It is about ensuring we continue to connect with one another during these challenging times. In this case, the connections will be hyperlocal (with your immediate neighbours and passers-by) and around the world, as people from many countries, cultures and languages join in the fun.
It’s super simple. Choose a space outside the front of your home, think of something fun, relaxing or social and then give it a go before, during or after the week. Better still, send us some pics.
Town Team Movement is proud to be a supporter of Porch Placemaking Week. We encourage Town Teams to promote it to their local communities. No meetings, no hassles, no budgets – just do it!
For more information and to share your action, jump onto the website www.porchplacemaking.com or check out the Facebook page.