The reader comments on this post were lively and mostly constructive as well. Click below to read some great comments that were posted about the value for government agencies of finding local partnership.
Finding strong local partners allows the public plaza program to:
1. Draw on the public space management capacity of BIDs (which are quazi government) and other community-based organizations as well as the Parks Dept, and DOT.
2. Develop and grow broad community based partnerships -- Finding the community leaders, building community and city capacity to actually create and evolve the spaces to reflect and celebrate the communities they serve.
3. Design for flexibility - short term experiments, ongoing evaluation, long term visioning.
4. Attract more creative and diverse funding sources to support a broader sense of ownership and inclusiveness I the community - setting up management and funding entities for ongoing management, programming and improvements etc.
5. Be compatible with an upfront and ongoing public process to develop the vision, demand and capacity to grow these spaces in partnership with the city.
These are all thing that the city will not be able to, and should not do alone. For the success of these projects, responsibility needs to be given locally.