In response to New Zealand’s massive earthquake in September 2010, an organization called Gap Filler, based in Christchurch, implemented an impressive—and impressively cheap—LQC project. Since the earthquake left Christchurch with a glut of vacant spaces, a scarcity of public activities, and depleted morale, this local group organized a DIY dance party in one of the city’s vacant lots. By fashioning a “jukebox” out of an old washing machine and an MP3 player, and then setting up speakers around a makeshift stage, they created “Dance-o-Mat”—a public venue for spontaneous dance parties. The site quickly became a popular destination for city residents, and soon local salsa troupes and dance instructors began gathering there to practice and hold classes. Anyone could pay $2 to play music on the jukebox, and based on these coin-box revenues, Dance-o-Mat supplied over 600 hours of entertainment in its first three months of operation (that’s almost seven hours of activity per day!).
*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.