1st Edition

Community-Built Art, Construction, Preservation, and Place

Edited By Katherine Melcher, Barry Stiefel, Kristin Faurest Copyright 2017
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Throughout history and around the world, community members have come together to build places, be it settlers constructing log cabins in nineteenth-century Canada, an artist group creating a waterfront gathering place along the Danube in Budapest, or residents helping revive small-town main streets in the United States. What all these projects have in common is that they involve local volunteers in the construction of public and community places; they are community-built.

    Although much attention has been given to specific community-built movements such as public murals and community gardens, little has been given to defining community-built as a whole. This volume provides a preliminary description of community-built practices with examples from the disciplines of urban design, historic preservation, and community art.

    Taken as a whole, these community-built projects illustrate how the process of local involvement in adapting, building, and preserving a built environment can strengthen communities and create places that are intimately tied to local needs, culture, and community. The lessons learned from this volume can provide community planners, grassroots facilitators, and participants with an understanding of what can lead to successful community-built art, construction, preservation, and placemaking.


    1. Introduction: Defining Community-Built
    2. by Barry L. Stiefel, Kristin Faurest, and Katherine Melcher

      Part I: Participation and Empowerment

    3. Community-Built as a Professional Practice
    4. by Katherine Melcher

    5. Kalaka: Four Stories about Community Building in a New Democracy
    6. by Kristin Faurest

    7. Reflections on Community Engagement: Making Meaning of Experience
    8. by Terry L. Clements and C.L. Bohannon

    9. Impacts of Participatory Mural Making on Youth Empowerment
    10. by Tiva Lasiter


      Part II: Culture and Identity

    11. Community Eruvin: Architecture for Semi-Public/Private Neighborhood Space
    12. by Barry L. Stiefel

    13. Community-Built and Preserved Material Culture: Square-log Cabins in the Village of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
    14. by Mariana Esponda Cascajares

    15. Constructing and Preserving History Through Community Art Projects
    16. by Anastasia L. Pratt

    17. Yellow Star Houses: a Community Generated Living History Project in Budapest
    18. by Ildikó Réka Báthory-Nagy


      Part III: Local Control of Place

    19. Building Informal Infrastructures: Architects in Support of Bottom-up Community Services and Social Solidarity in Budapest
    20. by Daniela Patti and Levente Polyak

    21. The Main Street Approach to Community Design
    22. by Jeremy C. Wells

    23. Building Streets and Building Community
    24. by Katherine Melcher


    25. Conclusion: Valuing Community-Built

    by Kristin Faurest, Barry L. Stiefel, and Katherine Melcher


    List of Contributors


    Katherine Melcher is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design, U.S. Her research focuses on the interaction between design and community development—in particular, participatory processes in the design of community spaces. Her design work has been featured in Landscape Architecture, Designer/Builder, 1000x Landscape Architecture, and Architecture for Change.

    Barry L. Stiefel is an Associate Professor in the Historic Preservation and Communty Planning program at the College of Charleston, U.S. He is interested in how the sum of how local preservation efforts affects regional, national, and multi-national policies within the field of cultural resource management and heritage conservation. Dr. Stiefel has published numerous books and articles.

    Kristin Faurest worked as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, where she taught and researched in the areas of community-based planning, social justice in spatial planning, and the connections between culture and landscape. Last year she returned to her native U.S. to direct the Portland Japanese Garden's new International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts and Culture in Portland, Oregon.