Saturday, June 14, 2014

DNA Info: 'Guerrilla Urbanists' Use Flower Boxes to Fight Bridgeport Blight, Crime

Photo by DNA Info/Casey Cora
Along Cottage Grove there have been planters that were maintained by a volunteer group that also contained students from area schools hoping to beautify the parts of the street in our community. I'm wonder if it's time to expand that concept along 79th Street which unfortunately has gained an crime ridden reputation.

DNA Info explores this option in another south side neighborhood, Bridgeport:
A secret group of "guerrilla urbanists" is placing flower-packed planters along Morgan Street in an effort to beautify Bridgeport.

A source said the mystery group will continue polling business owners and landlords to see if they'd like one of handsome planters placed in front of their buildings on the sidewalk. If so, the building owner must agree to care for the planter and the flowers in it.

The source, who requested anonymity, said the project was initiated to combat "the ugliness and the visual and real violence that pops up from time to time" on Morgan between 31st and 35th streets: "The group believes it's time to make an effort at making our streets safer, saner and aesthetically pleasing."

The project is also a tribute to Carissa Hinz, a barista and artist killed last year in an unsolved hit-and-run crash.

Already, a few of the planters, which are big enough to hold two 5-gallon buckets filled with dirt and flowers, have appeared in the 3200 block of Morgan Street, not far from where a 25-year-old man was killed after being shot in the head on Sunday.

The mysterious Morgan Street campaign is the second effort in recent months to call attention to what some may perceive as a problem of economic neglect in Bridgeport.

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