Inviting Edges: Placemaking at the Sustainable Living and Learning Communities

David De La Pena with the help of Carolina Hernandez, Shirley Chen, Levi Felger, Jennifer Mendez, and Charles Wray, UC Davis

Inviting Edges raises awareness of and celebrates the Sustainable Living and Learning Communities at UC Davis by focusing on making the hidden community more open, welcoming, and accessible to the general public.

This project mobilizes research, learning and service to enhance a sense of place at the SLLC. The research builds upon theories on democratic landscapes. It positions placemaking within asset-based community development, noting that meaningful places already exist and should be enhanced through public engagement. In classroom settings such as LDA 141 and 198, the SLLC has been a space for examining participatory processes and models of service. Through the SLLC committee, students have gained even more experience in advancing sustainability through physical design. 

The SLLC is located on the UC Davis campus and invites participation beyond the university. The Ecological Garden and Student Farm host dozens of school tours annually, and the Community Garden includes many Davis residents. The Domes housing coop is also managed by the nonprofit agency with strong connections nationally. These and other programs share a physical space, which is both beloved and lacking in overall identity.