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Pockets for People -- Local ideas guided by local talentsTM

An Urban Living Program sponsored by Kevin Korpela (© 2005 observatorydrive.com)

Testimony at a Public Hearing
Download the proposal titled, Pockets for People - Local ideas guided by local talents (PDF), that was submitted to City Council Members and other Civic & Business Leaders as a follow-up to the testimony made by Mr. Kevin Korpela, Architect & Applied Artist, to the 400 Block Committee at the November 14, 2005, public hearing. The 400 Block Committee was appointed by the Mayor of the City of Wausau to review and make a recommendation to the City Council for the future development of a downtown gathering space. The Public Hearing as one part of the process to seek opinions in forming a recommendation.

Introduction: "...place to be, where to go!"
Pockets for People is a program to complement efforts by the 400 Block Committee to determine the future of our City Square 400 Block. The program intent is to extend the Committee’s role from making a Council recommendation to guiding/facilitating citizen participation. This initial four-page proposal outlines program details, such as: focus group workshops, useful sculpture competitions, downtown studio, and guides, leaders, facilitators. These details help pull from ourselves those things that we want our City Square to be and where to go! Members of the 400 Block Committee, Mayoral staff, City Council, potential consultants and local talents will guide or facilitate interested citizens including children and young adults in a five-year process to frame an urban gathering place. The program is layered with specific components guided by two directives: frame an overall concept and plan multiple pockets. Pockets are focus areas, such as a corner or edge, to be reviewed in five dedicated sessions, one each year, framed by the overall and flexible concept.

Citizen participation
The Pockets for People program outlines a goal-setting process with scheduled events to slowly and resourcefully grow the City Square 400 Block into a well-used, layered and welcoming gathering place for varied public events and small activities. Focus group workshops, useful sculpture competitions and display walls with ideas & notations promote citizen participation. These efforts could be coordinated from a downtown work space or studio with a short-term lease in a vacant storefront near the 400 Block.

Right now, in the future
This flexible program with citizen participation would grow an energetic, enthusiastic and active public gathering place. Establish the overall concept in the initial workshop leading to the potential construction of the first pocket in year one. Other pockets would be built over the balance of the five-year program as funding is procured: Pockets for People – Local ideas guided by local talents.

© Kevin Korpela, www.observatorydrive.com™