Forum Connect

Where in your communities do you see the sense of place having beneficial outcomes for health and well-being?

  • 1.  Where in your communities do you see the sense of place having beneficial outcomes for health and well-being?

    Posted 11-17-2017 12:00

    Hi Everyone,

    It has been such a pleasure to host the PastForward conference in our great city of Chicago and to meet so many of you. This morning in our final TrustLive of the week, we talked about the incredible impact that places and surroundings can have on a person's health. We've learned that memory is tied to place and that identity is shaped by cultural, community, and place-based experiences. As we saw in Holly's film, the women that returned to their homeland, as toxic as it may be, lived longer than those prevented from doing so. I believe it to be true that our mental and physical well-being is dependent upon our ability to access the places that shaped our identity, though the science to prove this is still emerging. Do you agree? How do you make the argument to your friends and neighbors that preservation has benefits for health and well-being?



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    Bonnie McDonald
    President & CEO
    Landmarks Illinois
    Chicago IL
    312-922-1742
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  • 2.  RE: Where in your communities do you see the sense of place having beneficial outcomes for health and well-being?

    Ambassador
    Posted 11-20-2017 09:46
    My love of downtowns was imprinted on me during my earliest years in the fifties. I grew up on a small farm in the country and Saturday was the day for the whole family to get dressed up and go to town to shop, eat, and go to the movies. Town being the county seat of the county where we lived. Now I realize it just a typical small town of that time. Then, it was a huge kaleidoscope of color and movement, sights and sounds and smells. The sidewalks were packed,and main street was lined with parked cars and the bumper-to-bumper two-way traffic came to a halt when anyone parallel-parked.

    Now that downtown is mostly deserted with half the storefronts vacant, as is the downtown of the community where I now live. There have been some attempts to bring it back to life through a Mainstreet program, renovation of the old theater, entertainment on the square, and a farmer's market, but the results have been mixed.

    But time, society, and technology march on, and the downtowns of small and mid-sized communities can never be what they once were. They can fill the role of community center and public square, though, but it would take some assistance from state and federal government, and with those two entities increasingly deciding to defund themselves and abandon any role that doesn't serve the private sector, it's hard for me to any future except for the continued waste of the resources that downtowns represent.

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    Jim Sparks
    Glasgow KY
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  • 3.  RE: Where in your communities do you see the sense of place having beneficial outcomes for health and well-being?

    Posted 11-21-2017 09:59
    Good Morning-

    This was an excellent track, focused on what so many of us intuitively know about our work and its outcomes but have lacked the ability to quantify it and articulate it in impactful and beneficial ways to our local communities.

    I have been grappling with just this question since returning to Columbus, Ohio from Chicago. I work as the advocate for the oldest district in Ohio, 233 acres of dense vernacular German immigrant housing located immediately south of the city's urban core.

    While tedious, I plan to do the research from the various disciplines tapped in these sessions in order to support my hypothesis that our neighborhood is indeed one of the healthiest places in the city to reside. Defining what is healthy is the first step, being sure to encompass physical, mental and perhaps even spiritual health, as that which is positively supported by the activity of preservation.

    Once written, I will certainly share these ideas with Forum members in the hopes they will spur discussions in your own communities.

    A special thank you to Landmarks Illinois for hosting the conference-

    N.K.


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    Nancy Kotting
    German Village Society
    Columbus OH
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  • 4.  RE: Where in your communities do you see the sense of place having beneficial outcomes for health and well-being?

    Posted 11-30-2017 11:25
    A little late to this conversation but I love this topic. I'd encourage people to look towards the Heritage Lottery Fund and their Research & Evaluation section. They have done some amazing work at looking at heritage sites, and the various types of impacts they can have. For example they have looked at health benefits and social benefits, of living near heritage sites, volunteering on heritage projects, etc. It's worth a look, although I'll warn you that it's so interesting you'll find yourself wanting to spend hours reading all of it!

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    Minneapolis MN
    MaraisBjornberg
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