Founded in 1996 by Mark Lakeman, the City Repair Project is best known for lavishly painted street intersections that transform a spot initially intended for vehicles into spaces where people can gather. Each project begins with a dialog among neighbors to determine shared aspirations and goals. Next, the community works together to design, create, build, and ultimately maintain the space.
Beyond the intersections, City Repair Project is active in ecological landscaping projects throughout the city. CRP designs structures created by using renewable natural materials such as straw, clay, wood, and stone.
Every spring for ten days, City Repair Project also organizes the Village Building Convergence, which draws residents and activists together to design and build their own community amenities. They provide hands-on training in permaculture—a system of design that promotes sustainability through the study and replication of systems that occur in nature. Residents are also coached in CRP’s philosophy of self-empowerment and change.
We had an opportunity to have an extended conversation with Mark Lakeman of The City Repair Project on Social Design Insights. Listen to the episodes below.