In New Albany, starting about a year and a half ago, a process was initiated to spend more than a million bucks toward creating a place -- in this instance, a downtown park meant to honor the city's Bicentennial -- conceptually trickling from the top down, as it's always been done, and stewarded by a relatively small group of surely well-meaning persons who nonetheless cannot seem to grasp that the planet is filled with useful ideas, and maybe every now and then, it might be a good thing to be "lower case" democratic about such matters. Unfortunately for the noblesse oblige theory of civic management, our movers and shakers possess too narrow a conceptual vision, which isn't always very obliging. When one's prime objective at every turn is retaining control, it discourages involvement, which in turn becomes the rationale for retaining control: See, no one else can or will do it. It simply isn't true, and I wish "they" could see that.
As an example of what I'm saying, here are eleven principles for creating community spaces. Did any of them feature in the development and implementation of Rent Boy Park?
Eleven Principles for Creating Great Community Places
Didn't think so.