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Candy Chang- a one woman army out to revive New Orleans

The title of this post is a little misleading. I originally set out to cover one of Candy Chang’s projects aimed at reviving New Orleans, but she is doing so much more than just this one project, so I’d like to at least preface by saying that if your city is in decline or even if just a street near your home is filled with abandoned commercial properties, take note of Candy’s methods. I don’t know Candy personally, but even spending a few moments on her site will tell you that she is an artistic, creative woman with the biggest heart in the world, plus she’s a really intelligent urban planner.

What I most admire about Candy is that while most people in the world complain about what ails them and whine about how horrible things are becoming, Candy pulls out her markers and mobilizes communities to affect change. Dozens of Candy’s projects have garnered national attention and today, we’d like to focus on her “I Wish This Was” project.

The “I Wish This Was” project is dubbed by Candy “civic input on-site.” According to Candy, “New Orleans is full of vacant storefronts and people who need things. My neighborhood is still without a full-service grocery store. So I made these fill-in-the-blank stickers to give us an easy tool to voice what we want where we want it. Fill them out and put them on abandoned buildings and beyond. The stickers are custom vinyl and can be easily removed without damaging property. It’s a fun, low-barrier tool for citizens to provide civic input on-site, and the responses reflect the hopes, dreams, and colorful imaginations of different neighborhoods. These stickers are free and can be found in corner stores, cafes, bookstores, bars, hair salons, and other places around New Orleans. They’re also waiting for your thoughts on vacant storefronts and blighted houses around the city.”

“I Wish This Was” stickers in action:

Candy’s other projects that impact the world:

As a non traditional urban planner, Candy spends a great deal of effort focused on real estate related issues. We enjoy that she is a consumer advocate and has some amazingly creative ideas on how to study the world around her. If only the rest of the world were so in tune!

Check out some of her other projects:

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Check out Candy’s other projects and take a moment to consider how you’re setting an example for your community and advocating for others- if you do even 1% of what Candy does every day, you’ll be a local hero!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Kelly Grothe

    December 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Loved this article and all of Candy’s awesome projects…a very inspiring morning read!

  2. Agent for Movoto

    December 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    What an absolutely fabulous, prescient, touching idea. So simple. So great. I hope she keeps it up! We need people like her!

  3. New Orleans Real Estate Now

    January 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Great article. It's nice to see good works getting attention. Very simple yet creative.

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