Paper Roads and Placemaking
What is a Paper Road? In New Zealand, it’s a common term for a legal road that may exist only on paper. These roads are typically not fully developed but are well known as walking and biking routes for locals. One industrious group of New Zealanders saw Paper Roads as a perfect opportunity for placemaking.
After meeting Milenko in 2015 and learning about the Pomegranate Center Approach to creative placemaking, a small group of local residents founded the Riverhead Beautification Society. “We started this group up as a result of an overseas guest (Milenko) who inspired the community to get about cleaning up the paper roads we have and help create a better sense of community” says Claire Walker, one of the group’s founding members. “The group’s aim is to slowly transform the many paper roads within Riverhead to allow for walking/biking tracks, community orchards, and environmental planting. We also want to build COMMUNITY. We want people to learn to collaborate better and be inspired to take action. We want to get people talking to one another, street parties, fruit harvest BBQs, etc.”
So far, the group’s efforts have been quite successful. They’ve been able to raise funds and hold multiple “working bees” with impressive volunteer turnouts and generous participation by local groups and businesses.
“Achieving great things little by little allows us all to have ownership in our community.”
Beacon Pathway sponsored Milenko’s last trip to New Zealand and they’ve asked him to come again. Like Pomegranate Center, Beacon believes that community building through shared planning and placemaking projects is vital to the strength and resilience of communities. For more information about Milenko’s 2016 workshops in Auckland, New Zealand, CLICK HERE.