The next decade will allow each of us to inspire each other to create positive change in our cities. There are so many important issues to tackle we can’t expect our various levels of government or our police services to solve it alone. Authentic collaboration will be required, and we must challenge ourselves and those we know to step out of our comfort zones. While Canada is still considered a very safe country we can’t be complacent!
With so much polarization and fear in the world – it’s time to embrace all the good work that’s being done by so many. We talk a lot about self-care, and that’s terrific, but is it enough? We need Community Care to Thrive! Exploring all the possibilities and sifting through what works and what doesn’t is not a simple task! Some cities are in crisis, higher crime rates, addictions, homelessness and mental health concerns have become common place. In some cases, this has reached tragic proportions. We can all make a difference and we must do our best to try harder – it’s time!
While we can’t deny there are Messy Cities amongst us there are ways to channel our ideas, share our resources and bridge existing gaps. I had the honour of working closely with several incredible leaders last year, Amanda Ng, a Health Planner with our Capital Regional District and Jade Yia, a Built Environment Consultant with Island Health. A 1-day workshop on Creating Healthy and Safe Communities was planned for last fall and was a great success: See the Final Report!
While the connection to health and our built environment is key, there are other promising initiatives that should also be carefully considered. There is no question that Arts and Culture play an important role in every city around the globe. The outcomes from successful projects are evident everywhere, you only need to look around. We love the fact that these success stories can touch and connect people in the public realm and do so beyond our wildest expectations. We recently partnered with the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network and the City of Victoria and planned two special events last summer and fall. Sofa Surprise brought people together and encouraged them to enjoy some unlikely spaces in beautiful, Victoria, BC. We met some fantastic people and had some incredible fun. You can see some of these initiatives by visiting our new YouTube Channel. Keep your eyes on Nanaimo too, I had the pleasure of meeting two incredible change makers there last year. Check out Humanity in Art.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s make a difference together.