DPs: Community Resource

Decay Preserves are not intended to designate entire communities or cities. Good grief, that would be not just flippant disregard, but a face-slapping insult. Instead, we have in mind individual structures, spaces, or pieces of ground, that a community designates as a Decay Preserve. (It occurs to me that a vacant lot is much more than a space. Space by itself probably is the one thing that cannot be a decay preserve; it is the one thing I can think of that cannot decay.)
As limited entities, uncharacterized pieces of blight can become positive community assets when you convert them to Decay Preserves. You don’t even need to make them the centerpiece of a park (I refer our readers once again to Seattle’s Gasworks Park, a treasure both for the city and for the community of Wallingford). Simply by putting a presentation frame and name around a single decaying piece of the community, the community rises above, becomes greater than that decay and makes the decay into something that serves the community. By the community’s having converted decay to an asset, the community empowers itself. DPs thus become a point for fighting back against blight. More than that, the community can decide the use that it makes of the DP, whether it’s housing for the poor, or a park, or a meditation space, or, as happens in Detropia, letting a building “return to the prairie.”
This is how Decay Preserves can be a lever for community revitalization…over and above personal transformation.

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