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New London discusses placemaking

The space between John’s Bar and Longevity Nutrition was suggested as a possible Placemaker site in downtown New London. John Faucher Photo

Proposal seeks to enhance downtown

By Robert Cloud

Members of the New London Economic Development Committee brainstormed several ideas about how to enhance downtown during its Sept. 26 meeting.

Ald. Tim Roberts discussed “placemaking,” a concept of planning and creating public spaces that help connect people with their community.

According to Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit organization that helps cities design and organize public spaces, “Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.”

“In the space between John’s Bar and Longevity, we could set up a space with seating areas, tables and a stage area,” Roberts said. “In this space anyone would be able to rent the space for a pop-up event such as biergartens, pop-up eatery, food trucks.”

Roberts said local artists could display their work and local musicians and writers could perform on the stage as scheduled events or impromptu performances.

“People could use it as a place to gather, meet a friend for coffee or just relax and read a book,” Roberts said.

The space between John’s Bar and Longevity Nutrition on South Pearl Street is comprised of three narrow lots. The city owns two of the lots and John’s Bar owns the other.

City Administrator Chad Hoerth said he met with the new owner of John’s Bar and discussed his plans for the adjacent lot.

Committee members noted the city could reach out to New London gardeners and the Wolf River Art League to help develop placemaker space downtown.

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