February 2015 Projects Update
We had a great organizational meeting in January, with 30 keen placemakers (ranging in age from 3 weeks to 64 years) participating.
All of our key projects for the year are a go.
- we are helping to sponsor a visit by Happy City author Charles Montgomery, later this month
- we are planning a Cook St. South Pilot of Complete Streets design options, then working on a pilot projects “kit” to facilitate nimble street interventions across the region
- in conjunction with Jane’s Walk and Walk On Victoria we will be encouraging groups to get out and do urban exploration walks, with most of those in the first week of May
- we are pursuing an Open Streets program for Victoria – initially, helping various groups who are interested in Government Street and Douglas Street events
- we are promoting street parklets in collaboration with Fabulous Fort and in other retail districts around the region
- this September, we hope to host a full weekend of placemaking workshops and events, featuring local citizens, planning and design professionals, urbanists from outside Victoria and some “big names” in placemaking.
Stay tuned! Or even better, get involved – send us a note here, on Facebook, or on Meetup.
We are urban explorers, so our early activities were exploratory walks. We called our first events The Places Project and blogged about them on the Rethink Urban site.
We did a walkability audit of an area in Burnside Gorge community in 2013.
Then we took a look through downtown Victoria, in particular the mid-block crossings and small plazas in between Douglas and Blanchard (from Greater Victoria Public Library across to Pandora Street).
In the summer of 2014 we got together for a street event on Rockland Greenway, the section of Rockland Ave between Christ Church Cathedral and Pioneer Square where car traffic has been diverted as part of a City of Victoria pilot project. We did some informal placemaking, showing how inviting signage, activities, moveable furniture and other elements could help create a more inviting space – rather than simply a blocked road.
Coming up in 2015
At our 2015 organizational meeting we will discuss options for placemaking events in the coming year. Likely projects include:
- collaborating with Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and CRD on a placemaking speaker in the TransForm Speaker Series
- doing a demonstration / pilot street intervention project (including curbside bike lane, enhanced pedestrian crossings, public seating space and more) – tentatively planned for Cook St. between Park and Dallas Road; location subject to discussions and further planning
- presentations to municipalities in Capital Region District
- participation in Jane’s Walk, an international urban discovery event in early May
- one or more Open Streets events – closing street(s) to car traffic; possible collaboration with City of Victoria, Downtown Business Association and others on Douglas, Government or other downtown streets for specific days
- collaboration with Fabulous Fort business group on Fort St. parklets
- September placemaking workshop involving international, regional and local expertise
All of our projects depend on volunteer interest and energy. Let us know what you would like to get involved with!
We also welcome regional or neighbourhood “placemaking leaders” who are interested in coordinating or organizing activities in a specific Capital Region municipality or neighbourhood.