Be The Change You Wish To See In The Cul-de-Sac, Neighborhood, World
October 2, 2016 2:58 PM   Subscribe

101 small ways you can improve your city Feeling cynical? Ground down by the divisiveness and pervasive hate? Just feeling blue about your surroundings? All politics is local. (So, too, are parks and recreation and community building.) Take a page (or 101) out of this post for sparking joy.

Fix up your porch.
Add to Walk Your City.
Build a pop-up playground.
Get to know your neighbors.
Report potholes, broken traffic lights and infrastructure issues.

Some steps involve banding together to create a movement, but there are options for solving problems from the comfort of your own home, even from your computer, ostensibly clad in PJs and bunny slippers.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese (8 comments total) 84 users marked this as a favorite
These are great ideas! I'm definitely going to share them with our neighborhood partnership and the county land bank. We've did Project Pop-Up last weekend and have other weekends planned. It was so much fun and made me feel such solidarity.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:19 PM on October 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oooh. My Girl Scout troop is going to start planning their Bronze Award project soon; there are some things on here that would be good starting places. (Also things that would be terrible, terrible starting places.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:22 PM on October 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

My mother has turned the fence along the side of her yard into something she calls a poetry fence, which has become something of a local icon in the neighborhood I grew up in. Way #102, perhaps.
posted by biogeo at 6:11 PM on October 2, 2016 [12 favorites]

I joke that one of my hobbies is using the 'report problems' app for my city to report traffic signals that are out. It's gotten to the point where I'm delighted to notice the problems because it means I get to report it.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:17 AM on October 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

102. Pick up some litter once in a while.
posted by Paul Slade at 5:45 AM on October 3, 2016 [4 favorites]

I was pleasantly surprised by my local government's responsiveness in dealing with a reported problem recently. I was out walking to my neighborhood Giant Grocery, along Rockville Pike, when my way was blocked by overgrown bushes from the adjacent (vacant) property. If I'd been alone, I could have sidled past on the sidewalk, but I had my baby in a stroller, so I had to wait until the cars passed on the busy street, then took the stroller into Rockville Pike to get around the bushes. Later in the day, I saw an elderly man in a walker go into the street for the same reason.

The bushes had been a problem for weeks. Classic "diffusion of responsibility" problem, I guess? The first time I noticed it, I assumed it had been reported already. The second time, I decided to call 311. Once I got routed to the right department, they told me no one had called it in; it was fixed hours later.
posted by duffell at 6:39 AM on October 3, 2016 [5 favorites]

See also this Projects post (and FPP) from Shepherd: The Tiniest Gallery
posted by duffell at 8:01 AM on October 3, 2016

It's not possible for me to perform number 2, green my parkway. I have no word for that little sliver of property.
posted by Rob Rockets at 8:18 AM on October 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

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