The Institute of Environmental Negotiation (IEN) is initiating a project to develop, enact, and share guidance for communities and institutions to address their past through engagement, learning, creativity, and consensus building. This effort will include the following elements:
· convening a diverse national stakeholder group of artists, designers, and historians to provide guidance throughout this process;
· development of case studies of communities navigating their way through change to public spaces, including New Orleans, Baltimore, Charlottesville, and more;
· production of a comprehensive guidance document that includes best practices for community consensus building; and
· testing and implementation of this guidance for collaborative change with experienced partners in key areas of the country.
This IEN-led initiative will launch in conjunction with UVA’s Center for Cultural Landscapes symposium Race and Public Space: Commemorative Practices in the American South on March 24-25, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Transforming Community Spaces (TCS) will support the many communities and institutions across the nation facing challenges in telling more complete histories by providing best practices for consensus building, public history, public design, and community engagement. TCS begins on March 24 with the convening of a national Advisory Committee of designers, historians and mediators. The group will offer advice to IEN as it develops guidance for communities and institutions seeking to tell more complete histories and change their narratives around issues of race and other types of identity.
The CCL-led symposium begins later that same evening and continues into March 25. With dynamic and provocative speakers who bring deep knowledge on these topics, the symposium aims to generate vibrant discussion about the "21st century crisis” of how problematic community narratives are maintained, changed or erased through histories, stories, and memories in public spaces and representations. Ideas and discussion at the symposium will feed into development of the guidance, which will be tested with pilot projects in different parts of the country before it is finalized and widely disseminated.
The two-day symposium is sponsored by the UVA School of Architecture Sara Shallenberger Brown Cultural Landscapes & Sites Initiative, and supported by the BNSF Railway. All events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. You can find more information and the symposium schedule here.
The goals of these two initiatives are synergistic in seeking to initiate and support intentional, candid and inclusive dialogue about how communities may approach historical commemoration issues that stir passions and conflict. The initiatives address a resurgence in debates about the impacts of public parks, monuments, and other sites identified with slavery, colonialism and more recent contested histories.
The CCL and IEN are working closely in both funding and execution of these initiatives: IEN is supporting CCL’s symposium in design and facilitation, and CCL is supporting IEN’s initiative in design and serving on the Advisory Committee.
The IEN initiative is sponsored by UVA’s School of Architecture and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and project partners include The Cultural Landscape Foundation, the National Preservation Institute, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.