Designing Public Spaces - Mike Heimos – The challenge: Students will design a piece of land into a public space. Have you ever seen an outdoor space and wondered "Why doesn't someone put a park there?" Working as a team with a local STEM mentor (Mike Heimos with the Sustainability Dept. of the City of Columbia) students present their vision of the future public open space through a model design. Students will build a scale model of their city’s public space (built with recycled materials).
The single most important ingredient in any city is people. And people need a variety of public spaces throughout their city, both indoors and outdoors, where they can meet, relax, play, learn, connect, share cultures, create community, and build civic identity. When city planners and engineers develop public spaces they don’t just consider open fields or existing parks and plazas, they look at sites such as abandoned buildings, old railway lines, waterways (rivers, lakes, ponds), former industrial areas, and the single largest land asset in any city—the streets and sidewalks.