On January 26, 2013, The Places Project hosted a mini urban-space-discovery-walk as part of the Creative Community Outreach & Inclusive Engagement workshop, put on by the United Way of Greater Victoria and the University of Victoria’s Office of Community-Based Research . The workshop gathered neighbourhood associations, academics, keen residents and community engagement experts together to explore concepts of community and engagement.
Success stories of creative community engagement projects were highlighted from the City of Victoria’s Official Community Plan, Lifecycles community urban agriculture group, Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group, McCaskill Transition Street and many more.
Whether the community projects’ focus was theatre, puppets, poetry, food security or city planning, some common lessons-learned resonated:
- create a safe space
- invite in diversity
- involve youth and kids
- focus on relationship building and personal connections
- music and food bring people together
- meet in welcoming and fun places
- go where people are already gathering
- it is about the process
The mini urban-space-discovery-walk at the workshop in James Bay provided a chance for people at the workshop to get outdoors and move around while exploring aspects that contribute to a walkable neighbourhood.
A walk allows people to slow down and notice the places and landscapes of their daily lives. It brings people to the same level as explorers of the space. Where are the places to work, play and learn nearby? Are there juicy, stimulating and captivating sights, smells and sounds? What is the walking infrastructure like and is it accessible?
Our Mini-Walk in the historic James Bay community provided many insights and will help us structure similar events for other neighbourhoods. Stay tuned as The Places Project will be hosting urban-space-discovery-walks coming up soon in March, April and May of 2013. We will be setting up a Meetup group calendar for the events.
Interested in the next Building Resilient Neighbourhoods workshop or other upcoming opportunities? Check here.