Most people are often too busy to really think about where they live. They leave the house to go to work in a rush, they come home tired and excited for their couch. The rest of the world can pass by in something of a blur. But the built environment around us is important and we neglect it at our peril. Creating a better connection between people and their neighborhoods makes for better, stronger communities.
This project, Urban Plant Tags, by the Minneapolis-based Carmichael Collective, serves as a cheeky reminder that the things we may take for granted on the streets around us require a little more love, care, and thought than you might think.
Using the model of the little plastic wickets you find in the plants you buy, the oversized Urban Plant Tags gives simple information and instructions on various amenities you might find in your neighborhood. Readers are instructed to “Occasionally wipe clean” a bench, to “remove graffiti promptly” from stop signs, and to “change light bulbs annually” in our street lights. (Not all the tags are quite so civic-minded: No Parking signs are to be placed “where parking would be most convenient.”)
While it’s not quite the level of neighborhood connectedness offered by Neighborland, which lets citizens band together to actually improve their neighborhood, the project does help foster a sense that things like fire hydrants or stop signs don’t simply sprout from the ground at random, and that to create a sense of place and community, we should all be a little mindful of what makes up the place where we live.