Sunday, July 28, 2013

Yue Chan: 5th post

On July 26th, we attended a public hearing that discussed tentative plans about waterfront planning. It was my first public hearing and though I was not well versed or knowledgeable about the topic, I still found the discussion to be fascinating mostly because it was interesting to see the types of people who attended this meeting and the opinions that were voiced.

The most interesting highlights of the hearing for me was the Marriott Long Wharf Edge Activation Project and the plans for the New England Aquarium.

It was interesting to learn that the Mariott Long Wharf hotel was originally built to keep everything inside safe and to block everything outside. The simple solutions suggested to overcome this obstacle was genius in that they were very simple ideas, such as including glass panels for a sun room type setting around the building. They were also very interested in improving the public realm which was impressive to me. Including the public seemed like a very profitable idea for both the hotel and the public. 

During the New England Aquarium's, plans were proposed to increase public awareness of the identity of the aquarium, bringing their educational mission outside of the building, and to increase the visibility of of the aquarium. I especially loved the idea of providing free education outside of the building for public access. Spreading knowledge is invaluable and I'm so happy to hear the aquarium understands that. 

This hearing was also fascinating to me to see such a skewed and unfair representation of the public. The people who showed up and actually bothered to voice their opinions were so few. I wonder how hard it must be to appeal to the larger public's attention and encourage people to attend these hearings. Hopefully, I'll be able to attend more hearings in the future for subjects that interest me.

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