The Hudson design team completed their Action Lab on Sunday, February 4. This third and final Raising Places workshop brought the team together to incorporate prototype feedback, visualize their concepts, host a community event and plan pilots of their most promising ideas.

In the twelve weeks leading up to this milestone, design team members spent time creating, sharing and iterating their visual prototypes. This meant showing pictures of their concepts to both people who might benefit from the ideas and those who might be able to help implement them. The team even ran some small-scale pilots of their most hands-on concepts!

Visual prototypes that were presented during a feedback event to Hudson residents by design team members who are working to improve youth employment in their area.

At the lab, the design team reviewed participant feedback and made some tough decisions about which concepts to keep, cut or combine. Then, they quickly got to work on communicating each idea, including a name, photo, description, features and a roadmap for implementation. All this information went onto large concept posters, which were displayed at the community event.

Design team member Zebi Williams edits concept descriptions for her small group working to support youth employment in Hudson (left), a close-up of the youth employment group's concept poster for a digital job search hub (right).

The concepts from this design team include the following:

Youth Liaison App

An on-call mobile app that allows police to connect with trained mediators during encounters with youth.

Community-Driven Police Training Program

A training program that trains both police and residents in community-centered, culturally appropriate, locally-relevant topics.

Community and Police Roundtable

A series of hands-on problem-solving meetings that bring together police, community leaders and youth for productive conversation around resolving specific issues.

Internship Program

An internship program that offers targeted skills, training and 6-month work placements for youth and young adults with barriers to employment.

Youth Entrepreneurship Program

An entrepreneurship program that provides business mentoring, start-up resources, and ongoing support for youth to start and manage their own business.

Job Search Hub

A physical job search hub that provides space, support and connections to youth seeking jobs, internships and projects as well as co-working for youth entrepreneurs.

Digital Job Search Hub

A digital job search hub that connects youth with part-time and immediate job opportunities that fit their skills and talents.

Community Land/Housing Trust

A community land trust model that will hold land in perpetuity for affordable housing, commercial use and/or other community services.

Increased Protection and Services for Landlords and Tenants

A program to increase support and protection services for landlords and tenants that includes: access to legal counsel, mediation, fair code enforcement, etc.

People-Friendly Parks Plan

A people-friendly parks plan that envisions an interconnected network of public spaces serving all ages.

Zoning for Children, Families and Everyone

A model for engaging community that equips people to participate in conversations about the present and future of zoning in Hudson.

Menu of Inclusionary Housing Policy Options

A menu of inclusionary housing policy options that could help guide public and private development in Hudson’s neighborhoods to include more affordability.

Some of these concepts are novel ideas, while others are tried-and-true solutions. Either way, the team knows that these ideas are right for their community, right now. Each concept came out of research with residents and stakeholders, was co-created through community brainstorming, and has been grown and shaped by many rounds of feedback and iteration.

Convener Sara Kendall from Kite's Nest gives a presentation about the design team's work to a room full of Hudson community members (left), Hudson community members learn about the design team's concepts and chime in with their own perspectives (right).

The community event in Hudson was a huge success. Over 70 people of all ages attended the event held at the Hudson Area Library. Attendees received a delicious meal of Bangladeshi foods prepared by the family of design team member Jabin and our convener presented them with an overview of the Raising Places process. For the following two hours, design team members presented their concept posters to individuals and small groups. Together, they discussed responses to their open questions, such as, “How can we make this concept even more beneficial for kids,” and, “If this concept were real, what are the potential negative outcomes?” With all this feedback came a lot of engagement and momentum – many individuals signed up to join the teams working on each concept!

The final component of the lab was pilot planning, where the design team laid out the nuts and bolts of running a pilot  – short-term test – of each concept over the next 2-3 months. They defined who needs to do what and by when, what success will look like, and how to measure it. They will share pilot results at the Raising Places National Convening in April!

If you’d like to get involved with the Hudson team as they pilot these promising ideas, please contact the team’s convener. We look forward to seeing this community continue to transform!