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Placemaking and Community Development

I am perhaps best known for writing about homelessness and I still sometimes update Street Life Solutions et al, but my focus these days is on community development.
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they're falling in. ― Desmond Tutu.

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Last Updated February 12, 2022. This list is not comprehensive.

Popular posts from this blog

Me. Woodward Park, Fresno, CA. January 2016.

One of my favorites pics of me.

Local News and Information Online

I recentely read an online article with local news. Nowhere in the article does it actually name the state and the name of the publication is generic enough it doesn't give clues as to the location. I poked around the site and found a county name somewhere, maybe in the same article, maybe in a different article. I googled the city name and the spelling is unusual such that it might be a unique city name though there are definitely other cities with names that sound the same. If this article were printed in a physical newspaper bought locally, using just the city name would be fine. You would know from context exactly which city was intended. But when an article is posted online, people can potentially trip across it from anywhere in the world. You are no longer talking to just locals and even if the city name is unique, not everyone will automatically know that. Don't assume your audience will go digging for more info like I did to try to figure out exactly where

Know Your Audience

Many years ago, I read an anecdote about an American man working in Asia. He was frustrated with his communication difficulties with the locals which ran deeper than simply a language barrier. One day, he felt like he was finally making progress and a colleague of his commented that they were "Thinking along parallel lines." He enthusiastically agreed and hoped this meant their communication difficulties would soon be a thing of the past. He hoped to soon see a genuine meeting of the minds, but much to his frustration, this did not come to pass. It was soon apparent that nothing had really changed. When he asked his colleague "What about what you said about us thinking along parallel lines?" the reply he got was "Parallel lines never meet." The same words can mean very different things to different people. Context helps inform us what is intended but to some degree how your words get interpreted depends on what is in the mind of the person reading th