Map of our little 3×4 block neighborhood

As with most maps, this is both artwork and tool, part of the Clubhouse/Clearing house project.   It depicts the area, and, once taken into use, will be a dynamic depiction of the basic services (doctor, 1st Aid/CPR, bicycle repair, safehouse for kids, carpenter, etc.) that our neighborhood is home to.  It was inspired by our vicinity to the Zoo, the story of Noah’s ark, and what I felt was missing from some standard disaster preparedness programs neighbors had asked me to instigate: Fun!

To be able to choose who I learn a basic survival skill from, or to have a back-up in case one person is injured/occupied/moves, would be quite a practical set-up to have… and maybe I have that right here in my neighborhood, but I don’t know it!  I want to learn from these people and get to know them and be a resource to them, too!  Where are they? I thought… and then:  “I’ll make a game of finding out whether we have 2 of everything!”
So I’m asking neighbors to list what basic skills and resources we’d need if we were an island or an ark.   I’m also asking anyone who has these basic skills to put a marker on the map!  Not-survival skills (like jewelery making, for example) can be shared on the bulletin boards.

Of course, the neighborhood map is a challenge to translate the components of all skill sets into ways we could help if we were on a hypothetical ark or island: perhaps the jewelery maker has everything she needs to solder things together, or would be in charge of making an alternative kind of currency, or can transfer the skills for threading tiny beads to sewing and fix clothes and make sails for home-made wooden wind-turbins so we can generate our own electricity… it is a game to see how our favorite activities can help one another in a challenging situation, were we to find ourselves in one together.

One thought on “Map of our little 3×4 block neighborhood

  1. Neighborhood map on fabric to map emergency skills

    Detail: see the tags are hung in the fabric, and there are 2 of each tag, representing a desire to have 2 of everything

    This is what the map looks like now. Neighbors were happy and hesitant at the same time. Probably because it still needs the legend. Here ‘legend’ means: a place to list the emergency resources we think we’ll need, and correspond each of them to a specific tag shape and color.

    In the spirit of generating community ownership, the legend shouldn’t be generated by me listing all the skills I’d like to see, but by my asking neighbors: “What might we need in a long-term emergency if we depended fully on each other, just us, here?”

    “and what skills do we need people to have to make that happen?”

    “That’s an important skill. Shall I write that down on the legend here, so someone with that skill will know we need them?”

    “Just imagine: he/she might offer to tell us where they live and I’d put a tag there! That way, if we need them, or if we want to learn that skill, we can find them. What hobbies/professions use that skill, do you think?”

    “Do you know any neighbors who might have that skill?”

    “My talent is making things fun, and I’m so very happy you know where to find me!
    What would it do for the neighbor who knows how to ______, do you think, to know that they are important, and we appreciate having them for a neighbor? How would you feel if I told you I appreciate you and what you do?”

    “And I’d feel safer and more excited – no matter what the future might – bring if ___(skill)___ were on this map, so I knew they’d be there in an emergency. Wouldn’t you?”

    “When will you see him/her again?”

    “Would you be willing to tell him/her about the map and ask him/her to contact the clubhouse?”

    “Do you think they’ll ‘get it’? What might you say to him/her?”

    “That sounds great. How cool of you to do that for all of us neighbors. I’m excited to ask you how your experience was next time I see you – maybe we’ll watch the map change together. Resilience-building is a fun reason to chat up a neighbor.”

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