Boasted as the largest outdoor café in the world, BenchesCollective (or BankjesCollectief) takes over the benches across the world every first Sunday of the month and invites people to host cafés and activities. As part of the project, participants can visit the BenchesCollective website, pin their location, advertise their hours of operation, and include a description of the menu or activities to be hosted at their bench.
The idea behind the BenchesCollective initiative is to spark public interactions that might not otherwise take place. It provides space for strangers to sit down together and share in a conversation. It also encourages the hosts and guests of the benches to rethink the use of streets and urban furniture while giving them a degree of ownership over their own public spaces. These monthly events elevate the importance of streets and benches from pure utility to places of experimentation, community engagement, and Placemaking.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
On April 22nd, Milwaukee was announced as one of the six 2015 Heart of the Community cities. Over the next six months, the local project team and PPS used “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC) Placemaking principles to ensure that the The Spot 4MKE continued to be a collaborative, inclusive, and community-led project.