Towards a Child Friendly City: Abuja Kids Revitalize Public Spaces

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Author: Taye Olajide Project Lead: Taye Olajide Community Partners: Kids Skating Series PLAY is a tool to restore city fabrics. In Abuja we involve both the young and old in a public space renewal process that feature skating as a means to build confidence, ownership of public spaces, and of course inspire fun. Open Architecture Nigeria (OAN) initiated an annual event called the Kids Skating Series in 2015 for one day of collective action to engage young children of diverse background and status in Abuja. We called these events outdoor skating cocktails. While the main goal is to drive home the importance of play spaces by putting children literally on center stage it also seeks to advocate for the power of public spaces as a unique tool for effective community…
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Saving Affordable Housing in Chicago

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Save Altgeld Coalition - Chicago IL, USA Project Goal: To support the community coalition in establishing a sustainable action plan. Partners: People for Community Recovery, Chicago Legal Clinic, Preservation Chicago, Chicago Housing Initiative Big Win: After presenting the community made plan to Chicago Housing Authority the coalition saved 97% of the houses slated for demolition. Services provided: Facilitation, community design, Community engagement, analysis, advocacy, client representation The Chicago Housing Authority earmarked $7.3 million of its proposed 2013 budget for “planning for demolition” of 648 units at Altgeld. “They wanted to just knock down the vacant units with no future plans,” she says, in a tone of disbelief. The demolition would have cut the number of units at the project by around a third. Johnson says that over 200 Altgeld residents showed…
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Burrows Pocket Park

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Burrows Pocket Park - San Francisco CA, USA Project Goal: To transform a dead end dumping ground to a gathering space for the Portola Neighborhood. Client: Portola Neighborhood Association  Partners: Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Lincoln Motor Company, Architectural Digest, Rebar Group, Artist Jason Jagel, Engineered Artworks Services Delivered: Community engagement, schematic design, project management, construction administration, fundraising, marketing As one part of a project to create an accessible pedestrian path along the I-80 freeway in San Francisco, the Burrows Pocket Park was a community driven pilot in response to the neighborhood divide caused by eminent domain and the construction of a freeway. One volunteer, Architect Reaz Harque connected with the local chapter and eventually the Mayor's office to assist the Portola Neighborhood Association. Phase one involved clearing out…
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Design for Children

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Design For Children, Washington D.C.Project Goal: To strengthen the network of childcare providers, upgrade facilities so they may serve more children. Client: DC Metro Area Childcare Facilities Partners: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Footsteps of Children, PUSH Academy, Happy Faces Learning Center, Little Samaritan Child Development CenterServices Delivered: Program Creation, community organizing, research, meeting facilitation, community engagement, schematic design.
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Reclaiming Space in Cairo

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Forgotten Spaces - Cairo Egypt Project Goal: Empower residents of Istabl Antar, Cairo to take control of the public space around them.Client: Residents of Istabl Antar Services Delivered: Community Engagement, design facilitation, schematic design, implantation coordination, assessment 
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TreeSquare – Stormwater Mitigation

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TreeSquare - Portland OR, USA Project Goal:  To provide seating and shade while mitigating stormwater flooding.Client: Vernon Elementary Public School - Portland Partners: De-Pave, Ankrom Moisan Architects, Turner Construction, Lower Columbia Estuary PartnershipServices Delivered: Project Coordination, Subject Matter Recruitment, Design/Build and fabrication. 
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Taller del Habitat

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Taller Del Habitat - Bogota Colombia Project Goal:  Help people living in informal settlements in Bogota receive all the services required to build their homes or small businesses.Client: Residents of the Bosa neighborhood in south eastern BogotaPartners: Asojuntas Bosa Comunal, Constituyente Bosa, Procesos Incluyentes, Copacos Bosa, Bosa Ruta Siete, Bosa Carbonel, Radio Rumbo 107.4 FM and Suyo.Services Delivered:  Design, program creation, partnerships formed, initial seed funding raised, organization launched.  "We struggled doing many types of projects to find what fit. Each effort gave us insight and a small piece of what we understand now. " Ricardo Daza
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Day of Impact

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Annual Day of Impact - New York, NY USAProject Goal: Support 5-8 local non-profits and schools with repair, restorations and construction projects with teams of volunteer designers.Client: 15 Non-Profits across the 5 Burroughs of NYCServices Delivered: Program management, Site coordination, Volunteer recruitment, Marketing and Communications “We loved your volunteers, we eagerly look forward to 2017!”  Catherine Stein Special Projects Manager Publicolor
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