WalkMassachusetts & CultureHouse Peer Learning Workshop

WalkMassachusetts & CultureHouse Peer Learning Workshop

On December 1st, WalkMassachusetts and CultureHouse staff came together for professional development and peer-learning opportunities at the Cambridge Innovation Center. Both organizations are funded by the Barr Foundation Mobility Grantees, focusing on improving communities through their unique lenses. CultureHouse transforms and reactivates underutilized spaces into vibrant social infrastructure, while WalkMassachusetts makes walking safer and easier in Massachusetts to encourage better health, a cleaner environment, and more vibrant communities.

The event was a great opportunity for the two organizations to learn from each other and share key techniques to move their respective work forward. In this shared space, both teams had an opportunity to give an overview of their organization and field of work. Time was dedicated during this gathering to deepen our understanding of key intersections of CultureHouse’s scope of work, specifically social cohesion, community engagement methods, participatory community planning, public spaces, civic infrastructure, and much more.

Topics of conversation included how inclusive community spaces can compel pedestrians to visit downtown areas, fostering the desire to walk and increase walkability. Additionally, it was discussed how pop-up community spaces can serve as a vector for community engagement and facilitate civic engagement. Both teams identified key overlaps and discussed how to best support each other as they think about their respective work in environmental justice communities, each with their own unique needs. Both organizations are actively pursuing partnerships with communities across the Commonwealth, particularly beyond Greater Boston.

This convening served both organizations as a great model for professional development and networking. WalkMassachusetts appreciated this opportunity and seeks to continue partnering with other Barr Foundation grantees within the Transit Justice ecosystem to learn and share key information and insights.

CultureHouse has participated in one of WalkMassachusetts’ statewide networking meetings to share its approach to impacting social infrastructure (watch the October Network Meeting). WalkMassachusetts is excited to attend one of CultureHouse’s upcoming Community pop-ups in January 2024 at Union Square in Somerville. Both organizations have committed to continue to develop synergies, sharing opportunities to join future walk audits and other reciprocal endeavors.

The Hack Day was a great success, and both organizations are looking forward to reconnecting again soon. It was a great opportunity for both organizations to learn from each other and share their experiences. WalkMassachusetts hopes to continue partnering with other organizations to improve walkability in communities across Massachusetts.

You can find more information on CultureHouse at culturehouse.cc

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