re-imagining Greater Victoria’s public spaces
urban space discovery • placemaking • neighbourhood engagement
The Places Project is a series of collaborative activities designed to recognize and strengthen the public spaces of Greater Victoria while building community.
Our shared spaces are important. Plazas, streets, courtyards, walkways, landscaped parks and other places where we move and interact change us and the nature of our city. The Places Project looks at how environments can feel safe, which elements create a positive energy, what contributes to business and community health, and where small changes might spark big improvements.
How walkable is the area? Does the place have a sense of character? What energy is evident here, and what could be encouraged? We seek answers to those and many other questions about our shared urban places through The Places Project.
The project offers three opportunities for creative interaction among urban professionals and citizens:
- urban space discovery – facilitated walks and talks about places and placemaking
- placemaking pilots – small scale community-led transformations of public spaces, whether temporary (a day or weekend) or ongoing
- learning journeys – explorations of urban innovations in other cities on the Pacific coast and ‘city lab’ talks with like-minded urbanists and citizen groups in other communities.
You can keep up with our calendar on Meetup.
February 2013 – James Bay Mini Walk in conjunction with the Creative Community Outreach & Inclusive Engagement workshop. Read more here.
March 2013 – we did an informal walkability audit of Burnside Gorge neighbourhood, in partnership with the Burnside Gorge Community Association.
May 4 2013 – we led a community walk looking at plazas and connecting passageways in downtown Victoria in conjunction with Jane’s Walk in Victoria.
Our spring 2013 pilot project was a huge success, involving a diverse cross section of Victorians who are passionate about their community. We are now exploring ways to build on the pilot project and develop a sustainable, ongoing community placemaking initiative for Greater Victoria. If you’re interested in being involved, please get in touch.
Some key principles of The Places Project:
- We learn best about our community and its places by being in them
- Every space holds significant potential
- The physical elements of a space and the human activities in the space are interwoven
- The best ideas come from the creative interaction of diverse groups of people; all voices are valuable
- Small changes in a space can make a big difference in making it welcoming and engaging
- Community spaces play a role in the vitality and sustainability of neighbourhoods and our city.
The Places Project urban space discoveries are opportunities to explore public space in Greater Victoria and discuss it with a diverse group of people. We look, listen and notice what is happening – and share ideas about what makes the space unique. We share ideas for improvements while we walk and later over coffee or refreshments. The events will be quick, engaging and free.
The Places Project is a community response to the City of Victoria ‘Official Community Plan,’ which identifies walkability, village centres, placemaking and citizen engagement as key goals.
The Places Project is open to any interested citizens. We especially invite those whose work relates to community and buildings – from architects to social workers, urban planners to business people, municipal engineers to landscapers.
The project is coordinated by the Rethink Urban consulting group in collaboration with all interested individuals, groups, companies and government representatives. Rethink Urban will assist by providing facilitators, a graphic recording specialist, blogging and social media to support the project.
Get in touch with Lorne Daniel or Sarah Rose to talk about The Places Project and any ideas you have for making Greater Victoria a great place.
You can use our Contact form here or email us at: placesproject [at] rethinkurban.com