Back in Spring we were approached by Brett Dunlavey from Brown University regarding an internship project. He is pursuing a degree in Urban Studies and is aiming to one day work as an inventive and conscious developer of healthy and vibrant communities, places, and spaces. This was a perfect fit at StudioMEJA as we were just beginning to step over the threshold into the future Atlantic Works in Olneyville and needed to start familiarizing with the layers of the interesting neighborhood.
Over the course of three months Brett and Sasha conducted a few studies of Olneyville from a variety of perspectives: examining online data and google earth imagery, walking on the ground and observing the fabric of the neighborhood, and meeting with the variety of incredible organizations and individuals in the neighborhood that aim to create and strengthen good health and equity. The studies, made into presentations, allowed the rest of the team at StudioMEJA to form an understanding and generate discussions on the maps and diagrams. Our meetings with the community were not only informing us on the inner workings of Olneyville but also served as a sort of introduction to the community that asserted our neighborly intentions.
The exploration and conversations also opened us up to the ongoing events and planning charrettes in this part of Providence. Having an awareness of these events allows us to get involved and expand the dialogue regarding the development and redevelopment of our city, for instance the 6/10 Connector Redevelopment, which could have an incredibly profound influence on Olneyville (a community currently enclosed and isolated from the rest of Providence by elevated highways).
Brett's internship concluded with an open-ended discussion on how StudioMEJA should move forward and what kind of projects could be situated within the firm to be an integrated and crucial member of the Olneyville community. Now that we have introduced ourselves we are looking forward to getting further involved with some of the excellent organizations working tirelessly within Olneyville.