• 09.19.11

Insert Here: Asking People How They Would Improve Their Cities

A new project from lets people fill in the blank spots in their city with potential exciting improvements.

If you were paying attention in New York this past weekend, you might have noticed signs plastered to telephone poles, buidlings, and fences. They’re requesting that something–a green roof, a bike lane, a urban farm–be “inserted” at the site. It’s a project by the artist Eve Mosher, working with climate change organization, to give the citizens of New York a voice in how they want their city improved.


Mosher, who gained notice a few years ago with her Highwater Line Project–which traced the future sea level around New York with a giant blue line–wanted to give a chance for people to say what they needed in their neighborhood. “Communities know best what they need to improve their neighborhoods. They just need to build awareness around it,” she says. With these signs, they could show it.

The signs were installed across the city, often in partnership with organizations and their causes: The Point put up signs asking for green roofs in the Bronx. On abandoned lots around the city, wanted “green spaces” inserted. Transportation Alternatives worked on placing signs requesting bike lanes:

The program is designed to lead up to’s Moving Planet Day of Action on September 24, and to get people thinking about the opportunities opened up by solving climate change. “We should spend some time focusing on the optimism in the face of climate change,” says Mosher. “It’s sort of nice to think about how awesome New York could be if there were green walls and more bikers and all that stuff we dream about.”


Morgan Clendaniel can be reached by email or on Twitter.

About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Ideas section, formerly