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‘Let’s Talk Streets’: The initiative that looks to engage marginalized communities of Madison

‘Let’s Talk Streets’ is an initiative carried out by the Department of Transportation in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison 365 Media made a recent article about the project and pointed out some interesting thoughts about its impact on communities.

“ ‘Let’s Talk Streets’ is a kick-off event to engage our Madison communities – particularly our diverse Madison communities — around what’s called the ‘complete and green streets’ initiative the city is taking on. It’s really a redevelopment of our streets,” says Matt Braunginn, an engagement partnership consultant working for EQT By Design, who is helping to engage Madison’s most marginalized communities in the street design process”.

The initiative looks to integrate voices of communities to co-create and re-design the urban scenario at Madison. People's input will help to define the community's priorities and transportation values. The article emphasizes that one of the biggest challenges of this project is to adequately address social and racial marginalization problems with street design and urban operations.

“Street design in cities is an important aspect of racial justice and often reflects the historical inequities in how cities were designed and built. With that in mind, today and tomorrow, there will be an opportunity for Madison’s most marginalized communities to talk about and express what they would like to see in street design”.

‘Let’s Talk Streets’ also aims to include other important aspects to street design such as security, environment and health. The objective is to achieve a safe walking space, reduce air pollution and to assure a proper connection among different areas of the city through public transportation.

At MKThink we are also working on projects that involve urban design and planning through a process of equity and community integration. We run community-based workshops where we prototype designs and/or play games that elicit creative ideas from people young and old. We believe that cities should uplift us all, and we love working on projects that bring that dream a bit closer to reality.

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