Thursday, October 27, 2011

Normal Circle Wins Top Public Space!

Planetizen has announced the "winners" of their "Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S. and Canada" campaign.  Normal's Uptown Circle won the top place!  It's interesting that the authors of the article make a point of stating that the findings are not "objective."  If Central Park had won the top spot, would they have made that same point?  Isn't it true that all online surveys/campaigns are not objective? They certainly don't use random sampling.

It's good to have some recognition and appreciation, even if winning the top spot was the result of local "passion" for the Circle. It's our Circle and we like it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Normal Civic Involvement

It looks like voting for the "Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S." has closed. The Circle in Uptown had a commanding lead the last time I checked, so it should come out on top. That's great! Of course, it's just one of those internet popularity contests but it does show that there is a lot of enthusiastic support from area residents. Showing support for your community is great, but what about actual civic involvement?

What does it take for you to do something for your community? Does it take a disaster like hurricane Katrina or the Joplin tornado? Do local elections motivate you to participate in discussions of issues? Or are you more proactive in your civic involvement: initiating neighborhood projects, volunteering to serve on local commissions, joining clean-up efforts, etc.?

From a quick internet search, it looks like there was a National Civic Engagement Week in 2003. Maybe that needs to be revived. It would be nice to encourage everyone to get involved in their community any time, instead of just encouraging people to vote when it's election time (which is also important). Everyone, get involved for Normal! Or should it be Normall?