Streets in the Capital Region District (CRD) will come to life this summer, and beyond, through a new Living Streets initiative. The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network and CRD are partnering to develop a Living Streets Guide and assist local neighbourhoods in temporary street transformations that encourage movement and social interaction.
“Living Streets is an opportunity for people in a neighbourhood to get out for a walk, bike, skateboard, some street games, dancing or just visiting,” says project Coordinator Emmy Marshall-Hill. Similar car-free street days occur in over 100 cities across North America, typically on summer Sundays.
“We are excited to support the Placemaking Network and residents in exploring different ways to animate streets across the region,” says Sarah Webb, Active Transportation Program Manager for the CRD. “The 2011 Pedestrian & Cycling Master Plan identified events like Living Streets to be cost-effective strategies to encourage active travel and promote community health.”
The Living Streets initiative will focus on residential and neighbourhood streets. Greater Victoria Placemaking Network will provide a Guide and advice to local groups that will plan and organize Living Streets in their community.
With summer 2016 fast approaching, Coordinator Emmy Marshall-Hill says this year’s focus will be on planting the idea for Living Streets and helping groups get started on plans for 2017. A few Living Streets events will happen in 2016, including the Vic West Street Fest on Sunday June 12.
“We invite everyone to come down to Harbour Road in Vic West, between 10 am and 3 pm, to enjoy a Living Street and to chat with us about what could be organized in your neighbourhood,” Marshall-Hill says.
Interested groups can also visit victoriaplacemaking.ca/livingstreets for more information.
The initiative is part of the CRD’s People Power program. It is supported by the CRD Traffic Safety Commission and the Victoria Foundation.