I recently learned about Literary Lots, a wonderful community-based program that aims to "bring books to life" by creatively reshaping, repurposing, and reusing vacant lots in Cleveland, Ohio, to promote educational programming for youth. The program was conceived by urban planner Kauser Razvi of Strategic Urban Solutions in Cleveland and artist Julia Kuo, who were inspired by the city's reuse of vacant lots for gardening or creative activities.
This summer, having exceeded its funding goal via a Kickstarter campaign, Literary Lots plans to transform from two to four vacant lots adjacent to libraries into six-week summer-program locales for Cleveland's inner-city children. If all the programming challenges are met and the lots secured, local artists, drawing on themes from children's books in the public domain or for which copyright or authors' permission for use has been obtained, will recreate in the newly christened literary spaces some of the places, concepts, and adventures from the books, designing, for example, treasure hunts, plays, gardens, or interactive games or other learning activities. Readings and classes in writing will be offered.
Here's a video that fully describes the concept for the program, which involves Cleveland Public Library and LAND Studio, and some challenges:
This is an idea that should be duplicated in all of our cities!