The intent of the Beauty Petal is to recognize the need for beauty as a precursor to caring enough to preserve, conserve and serve the greater good. As a society we are often surrounded by ugly and inhumane physical environments. If we do not care for our homes, streets, offices and neighborhoods, then why should we extend care outward to our farms, forests and fields? When we accept billboards, parking lots, freeways and strip malls as being aesthetically acceptable, in the same breath we accept clear-cuts, factory farms and strip mines.
Ideal Conditions and Current Limitations
The Living Community Challenge envisions Communities that elevate our spirits. Mandating beauty is, by definition, an impossible task. And yet, the level of discussion and, ultimately, the results are elevated through attempting difficult but critical tasks. In this Petal, the Imperatives are based only on genuine efforts. We do not begin to assume we can judge beauty and project our own aesthetic values on others. But we do want to understand people’s objectives and know that an effort was made to enrich people’s lives with each square meter proposed in the plan. This intentionality must carry forth into a program for educating the public about the environmental qualities of their Living Community Challenge development.
There are no current limitations to this Petal other than our imaginations and what we as a society choose to value.
The Community must contain a meaningful integration of public art and design features on every block, street, and plaza, intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit, and place appropriate to its function.
Public art must be located with a frequency and scale to have impact in the Community. At a minimum, public art must meet the following guidelines:
- A major installation for every 500 residents
- A minor installation for every 100 residents
Educational materials about the design and operation of the Community must be provided to share the intent of and motivate others within the Community to make change. Projects must provide:
- An annual open day for the public.
- An educational website that shares information about the design and operation of the Community.
- A simple brochure describing the design and environmental features of the Community, as well as ways for occupants to optimize project function.
- Operations and maintenance manuals for all Community infrastructure.
- Interpretive signage that teaches visitors and occupants about the Community and its environmental goals and features.
- A Living Community Case Study to be posted on the Institute website.