Community turns site of George Floyd's killing into a sacred pedestrian space

A mural at the site of George Floyd's killing has become a sacred space 

For weeks, the intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis where Floyd died has been closed to traffic so people can mourn, connect and find a way together to stop police brutality and social inequity . And while nearby neighborhoods have gone up in flames, this place remains peaceful . Banners proclaim it as a sacred place, and people generally treat it that way. You see hundreds of people crying, expressing their anger, vowing to make African-Americans safe from police violence, discussing how to make a better city.

This street closing is not officially sanctioned, it was a spontaneous response by neighborhood residents themselves— a powerful example of do-it-yourself placemaking. Although 38th Street is a designated county highway and Chicago Avenue hosts of one of the busiest bus routes in the Twin Cities, there is discussion about making it a permanent pedestrian space to honor the memory of Floyd George and—and the hope of a community seeking justice.

Jay Walljasper—Social Life Project communications director and author of The Great Neighborhood Book—lives in Minneapolis, about a mile and a half from where George Floyd was killed.

The mission of the Social Life Project is to incite a renaissance of community connection in public spaces around the globe. Through our online publication, presentations, campaigns, and catalytic projects, we can create transformative impact on communities everywhere. Our work grows out of more than 50 years devoted to building the global placemaking movement. It is an initiative of the Placemaking Fund, along with PlacemakingX — a global network of leaders who together accelerate placemaking as a way to create healthy, inclusive, and beloved communities. We gladly accept donations to advance our work.

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