In February 2016, a team of Sustainable Development Engineering students from Tecnologico de Monterrey University turned a vacant lot into a community garden in the Monterrey neighborhood of Colonia Tecnologico, one of 24 neighborhoods integrating DistritoTec, an urban regeneration polygon initiative by the University. Set to last one year, the garden also included social, learning, and working space. The project goal was to enable a space for community engagement and learning topics related to urban farming. And, as part of DistritoTec, a top priority of activating the space was to increase public safety within it by making it more usable. The space featured wooden benches, picnic tables, and wooden wire spools repurposed as tables for social and workspaces. Volunteers built the two semi-enclosed greenhouses using PVC pipes, wooden pallets, and concrete buckets. The project was a true community effort, utilizing volunteer power to build and maintain the space, technical knowledge from the University’s experts, and additional support from local social service groups. Through the year-long activation, the community was not just able to engage with the space’s multiple uses, but imagine it’s potential beyond the activation. By diligently documenting the experience, organizers hope to encourage its replication in other underutilized spaces around the city.
The space featured recycled and easily movable materials such as wooden benches and tables, PVC pipes, wooden pallets, and small concrete buckets.
The project took two and a half months to build and it lasted one year.
The DistritoTec initiative’s social project fund provided the $4,500 USD project budget.
*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.