Updated: Jul 22, 2020
You more than likely didn't really read the home page text, which is cool - it's for show mostly. So, that means you probably didn't catch the lil' blurb about what BLCK SPCES is.. no worries, let's go through it real quick. This intro is gon' drop a lot at once, so just take it all in..
Run it back Turbo..
BLCK SPCES is a judgement-free, disrespect-free, and ignorance=free space that highlights a variety of topics, urban issues, social justice issues, and just Black daily life happenings. It touches on experiences from a practicing Black urban planner, career challenges, challenges in the workplace, and disconnect in our professional mission. To capture these instances a little better I want to tie them into real-life things ordinary people who don't care/don't know about urban planning, but can still follow and possibly relate to the message. I'll drop some music references here and there, some sport references, and a lot of Black culture references to connect the dots - if I want ya'll to keep reading then it's gotta be something you can relate to, right? Yeah, I figured the same.
More than anything BLCK SPCES is a 2-for-1 place that aims to bring a lil' knowledge to urban planning + design topics combined w/happenings of every day life - in particular the lack of (permanent) comfortable places for US, well to genuinely be... US. Places here means public spaces, green spaces, and open spaces that are typically enjoyable and accessible for all but sometimes isn't always the case for everybody. And I'm not talking about bars, lounges, clubs, etc. - that's another story for another post, but even in those places we're not always welcomed with open arms...
But Dee... what the hell is "urban planning/an urban planner"? In simple terms - we plan for cities through zoning ordinances, develop plans for land use & implementation, and do our best to enhance the quality of life in our communities. Is that what we really do? Nah. Gigi the Planner (@GiGiThePlanner) describes it best on her podcast - The Urban Planner's Podcast; catch it wherever you stream podcasts! She details what most of us (in the public sector) really do and how little of an impact we actually have in/on communities. Nonetheless, the Planning profession is growing every day but we've still got a long way to go to be the advocates our mission statement describes. Due to that, you have to get really creative to find your lane and maintain your inspiration in this profession - it's worth it to step on a couple of toes if you're doing the right thing for communities.
That's how BLCK SPCES was created - I found a passion lane for myself and I've been relentlessly pursuing it since November 2018. And with a lot of inspiration from my homies + colleagues I've become almost fearless. Shout out to my best friend Zoe more than anything!! She came up w/the name and really pushed me to roll this out - so ya'll welcome lol. Oh, and the homie Christie really inspired to get on my game and just do it! She's killin' it in D.C. doing transit planning and running her own fitness brand, Gutted Fitness (@GuttedFitness); go check her out!
So, there it is... the intro to BLCK SPCES. I hope you enjoy following/reading these posts, getting a lil' knowledge, and maybe even getting a lil' inspiration too! I may drop some gems of my own journey on here too ;)
From the late great Nipsey Hussle - "I just didn't quit.."
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