— OpenCity Projects (@OpnCty) March 3, 2015
An ocean separates Jamaica Plain and London, England, but both areas share an air of change. A project running in London has caught our attention and we’re replicating it in JP.
Rather than promoting companies and services, two digital billboards in Central London are promoting its people, the changing city and an enhanced understanding of the rapid change. Londonischanging.org invites people to submit their personal stories sharing “the reasons and emotions behind their migration” into, out of or across the city. Edited versions of people's submissions are being displayed on the two billboards.
The project, called London is Changing, was started by communication design lecturer Rebecca Ross and is to run through 2015. The result so far has been moving, as one can see from the billboard photos. The poignant few sentences on display call onlookers to pause and think about their own circumstances in the city. And we’re doing our own, toned down version of it in JP.
The Jamaica Plain you knew might not be the Jamaica Plain you’re currently surrounded by. But to newcomers, the present Jamaica Plain is the one that drew them in.
We have varying opinions, experiences and emotions of the same place. And this is a chance to compile the community’s thoughts. We’re asking JP residents to share their personal stories in no more than a few words (about a tweet’s worth). Your snippet should explore these questions: why did you move out of JP, why did you move into JP, what has your experience been like? Is it opportunity? Community? Comfort? Whatever your reason, we would love to hear it.
Once we compile a sufficient amount of submissions, we’ll create a platform to share with the JP community. Please submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also Tweet with the hashtag #jpischanging.
Here are two examples of submissions by London residents shown in The Atlantic's City Lab article:
“It's not the city I knew. It doesn't feel like it's for people like me anymore. It's a hell of a lot richer and duller,” says a student relocating to the South Coast.
“I’ve been here for about eight years now. It still feels new, and I still love living here,” says a communications director planning to relocate from Tower Hamlets to Redbridge
Read all the messages in London here.