My name is Jessica Mathews. My first ‘placemaking’ experience was about 2010 when I was in San Francisco. I was walking in North Beach and saw a ‘pocket park’ (parklet) in a parking space. I was immediately seduced and walked over and sat in it. I loved the idea of this ‘disruption’ in a space we so commonly think of as forbidden to people. Since then, I have dedicated myself to creating a more bikeable, walkable, and ‘people-first’ city. I collaborate with others to re-imagine what our neighborhoods could look and feel like. I have championed small-scale projects such as parklets, street transformations, artistically enhanced crosswalks, open streets, and more. One little project at a time, I am convinced that small-scale projects change minds, hearts, and outdated policies. I want to live in a city where I can have fun and over hear people talk about the little moments they come across that brings a smile to their face. When we have emotional connections to where we live, we are less likely to leave and far more likely to become personally invested. I believe that cities and towns need to embrace new ideas and change how we design our communities. We have to prioritize people enjoying where they live rather than how quickly we can get people from point A to B.