“I Wish This Was…” Sticker Project: Street Art meets Urban Planning

“I Wish This Was was inspired by vacant storefronts. There are many where Candy lives in New Orleans. There are also many people who need and want things, including a full-service grocery store in her neighborhood. What if we could easily voice what we want, where we want it? How can we influence the businesses and services in our neighborhoods?”

“Combining street art and urban planning, Candy created fill-in-the-blank stickers that say “I wish this was ____.” She placed boxes of free stickers in businesses around the city and posted grids of blank stickers and a permanent marker on vacant storefronts, so anyone walking by could fill one out. The stickers are vinyl and they can be easily removed without damaging property. Responses ranged from the functional to the poetic: I wish this was… a butcher shop, a community garden, a bike rack, an affordable farmer’s market, a taco stand, a place to sit and talk, Brad Pitt’s house, full of nymphomaniacs with PhDs, a source of tasty healthy food I could afford, my art gallery, your dream, Heaven. It’s a fun, low-barrier tool to provide civic input onsite, and the responses reflect the hopes, dreams, and colorful imaginations of different neighborhoods.”

“The project continues today and has expanded to cities around the world. Stickers are still posted across New Orleans and are available for purchase online. The vinyl material ensures that future business owners can easily remove them, and slitted backs make it easy to peel and apply. Thanks to the Urban Innovation Fellowship from Tulane University and the Rockefeller Foundation, Candy and her colleagues are taking this idea a few steps further and developing an online tool called Neighborland to help us join forces, build on ideas together, and take next steps.”

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