El Carrito: Week Four, Saturday, February 12, 2011

Participation Approach

On this Saturday morning, El Carrito serves as an outpost in public space as the Raons Publiques members branch out to any perceivable prospect of participation.


El Carrito: Outpost of Participation



On Thursday we began to critically rethink the approach of location and public participation. What is the balance between having many people participate that all frequent one type of space versus trying to engage a greater variety of residents, even if the net numbers decrease? On Saturday, even the Fort Pienc Civic Center was somewhat lacking in concerned neighborhood residents. In order to broaden our influence, we went inside the market to inform customers of our public space mission. Surprisingly, about half of the people we spoke to do not live in Fort Pienc; they work in the neighborhood, and so came on Saturday specifically for the market. Not as surprising was the fact that people don’t generally like being approached by people offering unsolicited information; even though the initial approach is difficult, once people understood our interest in public participation, most willingly engaged.

Lucia joins the discussion under some shade

Lucia engages the seniors



Montse engages market patrons



As Montse worked to engage the market patrons, Lucia spoke to the seniors in their regular location at the first-tier benches. In many ways, people are simply not used to giving opinions about how they imagine their immediate surroundings can change for the better; part of the process requires becoming a regular feature in the neighborhood, with El Carrito as a symbol that people can participate to improve their environment.

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