...and thoughts

Joyful Interventions - A Surprise Around the Corner - Placemaking

posted on 11/09

Urban Design surpasses mere aesthetics and infrastructure. In meetings with our clients, “placemaking and art” often get categorized as just aesthetics. However, let’s shift our focus from “what” to “why.”

For example, consider a new path recently approved by FDOT connecting the “Yellow Brick Row” Corridor to Doyle Carlton. The path repurposes an underutilized space. Our proposal was centered on placemaking, emphasizing the emotions it evokes in the space’s users. This shift in perspective encouraged engineers to think about the users’ experience, rather than simply viewing it as a wide sidewalk opportunity, but their hands are tied to actually implement any joyful integrations in the design process, because of red tape. Aesthetics have to come after infrastructure, but that culture needs to change.

The intersection of Art & Infrastructure is fascinating. It’s essential to consider the emotions it generates. Research consistently shows that well-executed placemaking projects invoke high-vibration emotions, such as Joy, Love, Peace, Calmness, and Bliss. These emotions signify progress and evolution.

If the spaces we build fail to trigger these emotions, we must question why we’re constructing them. Highways might not evoke these feelings, but parks are getting closer. Music festivals, Burning Man, venues like Meow Wolf, and Fairgrounds St. Pete are even closer, and what if such experiences were integrated into our everyday infrastructure, creating Joy? Can cities and developments be designed for this purpose?

Absolutely. We call them Joyful Interventions. (Credit of this term goes to Marisa Schulz of All Together Studio.)

CLRTY addresses pain points to ensure successful Real Estate Developments

posted on 10/15

Developers often enter communities as outsiders, and many company owners, while well-traveled, may lack an in-depth understanding of community nuances. Urban cores boast historical identities, and developers seek to maximize value within these densely populated areas. Below, we’ve identified pain points with new developments within existing neighborhoods, and have outlined ways that CLRTY Agency helps to maximize value within densely urban populated areas. What are innovative trends in real estate in 2023? A lot of value hinges on the experience people have while interacting with a property, and also how much they identify with it, these areas of focus will ensure a successful development.

Identity Integration:

Definition: This term likely refers to the challenge of seamlessly incorporating or aligning a new development or project with the existing cultural, historical, and social identity of a neighborhood or community.

Pain Point: Many clients may struggle with maintaining or preserving the unique character and identity of a neighborhood while introducing new developments or changes. Failing to integrate these elements effectively can lead to community resistance and conflicts.

Perception as Gentrifiers:

Pain Point: Clients may face resistance and negative perceptions from existing community members who view them as gentrifiers. Gentrification often leads to rising property values, which can displace long-time residents, leading to social and cultural tensions.

Lack of Community Engagement:

Pain Point: Developers who do not engage with or understand the nuances of a specific community may struggle to gain community support for their projects. This lack of engagement can hinder the success and acceptance of the development.

Historical Neighborhood Identities:

Pain Point: Urban cores and neighborhoods often have rich historical identities and cultural significance. Developers may face challenges in respecting and preserving these identities while pursuing profitable projects that often involve changes to the built environment.

Maximizing Value in Urban Cores:

Pain Point: While developers aim to maximize the value of their investments in densely populated urban cores, they must do so without eroding the unique qualities and character that make these areas attractive in the first place. Balancing economic goals with community preservation can be challenging.

These pain points are addressed through CLRTY services: Surveys, neighborhood engagement and creative problem solving, as well as a pin-pointed focus on creative placemaking, as well as the engagement of a local, international, and regional creative community.

Our services help developers tap into the formula that creates positive-brand-identity and shared social identity for new development projects.

Art on the Chopping Block in Hillsborough County?

posted on 08/23

Reallocating funds for arts and cultural programming from a placemaking perspective could have detrimental consequences. Arts and culture are integral to creating a vibrant community identity, fostering social interactions, and improving overall quality of life. Reducing these funds could erode cultural identity, weaken community bonds, and deter both residents and visitors. Moreover, arts and cultural initiatives drive tourism and economic growth, underscoring their vital role in sustaining the county’s vibrancy.

Arts and cultural programming significantly impacts tourism and economic growth through various placemaking categories:

Cultural Identity and Community Engagement: Arts and cultural programming infuse a sense of uniqueness and authenticity into a community. Visitors are drawn to experience local traditions, art installations, performances, and cultural events. This engagement fosters a strong connection between residents and visitors, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that encourages repeat visits.

Public Art Installations: Public art, such as sculptures, murals, and interactive installations, serves as landmarks that attract tourists. These art pieces become iconic symbols of a destination, motivating people to explore and capture memories, which can be shared on social media, further promoting the area.

Cultural Programming and Events: Cultural festivals, performances, workshops, and exhibitions provide immersive experiences for both residents and tourists. These events showcase the community’s heritage, talent, and creativity, attracting diverse audiences and enhancing the region’s reputation as a vibrant cultural hub.

Community Connection and Social Interaction: Arts and cultural initiatives create opportunities for people to gather, connect, and engage with each other. This social interaction contributes to a lively atmosphere that appeals to tourists seeking authentic experiences and local interactions.
Economic Impact and Tourism: A thriving arts and culture scene attracts visitors who spend money on accommodations, dining, transportation, and shopping.

This influx of tourist spending stimulates the local economy, supports businesses, and generates job opportunities, ultimately benefiting the community as a whole.

Quality Public Spaces: Well-designed public spaces enriched with art and cultural elements provide inviting environments that encourage both residents and tourists to spend time outdoors. This increased foot traffic can lead to higher patronage for nearby businesses, boosting the local economy.

Educational Initiatives: Arts and cultural programs often include educational components that enrich the knowledge and appreciation of both residents and visitors. Learning about the area’s history, traditions, and art forms adds depth to the visitor experience, increasing their attachment to the community.
Funding arts and cultural programming is vital to sustaining these benefits.

Adequate funding ensures the creation of captivating public art, the organization of engaging cultural events, and the maintenance of cultural institutions. This funding attracts tourists, boosts local businesses, and strengthens the community’s overall appeal, fostering a sense of pride among residents and establishing the county as a must-visit destination.

Please email the county commissioners of Hillsborough County, and continue to advocate for the importance of funding for arts and cultural programming.

Learn more at the Tampa Art Alliance: