UVU and Downtown Provo To Partner For PlayStreet Provo
July 10, 2014
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton | 801-863-6807
In an effort to add greater vitality to downtown Provo, the Office of New Urban Mechanics (ONUM) at Utah Valley University, in partnership with Downtown Provo Inc., will hold the first ever PlayStreet Provo on Saturday, July 19.
The day of free food, games, and activities for the whole family is part of a national movement to encourage more families to spend time downtown. Provo city will close a portion of Center Street to traffic from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and open it to family-friendly activities. Similar PlayStreets have been created in cities such as London and New York.
“The idea is to help people feel not just comfortable, but excited about strolling, walking, biking, shopping, and exploring downtown,” said Luke Peterson, director of ONUM.
Free breakfast, provided by Hruska’s Kolaches (European pastries), will be served from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The day will feature activities for both children and adults, educational games, and opportunities to do something your parents never allowed you to do before — play in the street.
PlayStreet Provo is not simply a fun event, it is also the launch project for ONUM — a civic innovation office focused on helping governments and communities better meet the needs of residents. During the event, student researchers will be speaking with attendees and gaining insights as to how downtown Provo can become an even better place to visit, shop, and play.
“We’re excited to work with the city of Provo and Downtown Provo Inc. on this project,” said UVU vice president for university relations Cameron Martin. “Building community while giving our students a unique engaged learning opportunity is exactly what ONUM is all about.”
ONUM will serve as an entrepreneurial civic innovation hub for the 23 cities in UVU’s service region. The office will help cities pilot new programs or concepts that will save money, engage residents, or improve service delivery and customer satisfaction. It also gives students from all disciplines the opportunity to conduct advanced applied research, while developing civic knowledge and skills.
ONUM is modeled after the offices in Boston and Philadelphia. It is the third office in the New Urban Mechanics Network and the first one based in a university. While the Boston and Philadelphia offices are based in their respective mayor’s offices, this next node of the network will be based at UVU and partner with the mayors’ offices throughout the region. ONUM will work together with the offices in Boston and Philadelphia as they develop a knowledge and practice network of what works and what doesn’t in local government innovation.