Dockside Dialogues Event #2: Summary

Thursday June 18th Dockside Dialogues No. 2 – Rethinking Creativity in Victoria’s Public Places took place at the Atomique Productions HQ, where enthusiastic citizens of the City of Victoria came together to have an insightful and encouraging community conversation on the topics of Placemaking and Public Spaces in Victoria!

The evening began with placemaking in action, as the audience was invited by moderator Robyn Burns of the CBC to rearrange the venue seating to create a better sense of place. Once everyone was comfortable, Andrew Pask of the Vancouver Public Spaces Network was invited to share his work and experiences of placemaking in Vancouver. Andrew spoke to the notion that successful placemaking comes as a result from the involvement of a variety of players, who each contribute their own, important perspective.

Andrews’ presentation was followed by a diverse panel, each hailing from different backgrounds including municipal government, retail, design and advocacy. Thank you to Councillor Pamela Madoff from the City of Victoria, Jayne Bradbury of Fort Properties, Derek Lee of PWL Partnership, and Lorne Daniel of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network who each contributed to the evening’s panel by sharing their unique roles in public space and placemaking in Victoria, further articulating Andrew’s presentation.

Themes emerged as the dialogue progressed. Piloting, the idea of simply trying new ideas out, and asking how an initiative can be implemented quicker, faster & cheaper were large drivers of the conversation. In doing so, and by looking to examples throughout North America and beyond, can help us to learn what does and what does not work when creating a public space for a variety of users to enjoy. Questions were posed  to the panel by the engaged audience such as “What are the hurdles that are faced when implementing these initiatives?” ,  “How can we manifest spaces that are inclusive to the diversity of our city?” and sharing of one’s favourite “hidden spaces” in the city, and what about that space makes it special.

The players in placemaking and public space in Victoria have begun to actively live out the idea of piloting. Examples of this practice can be found around the city including the newly installed parklet on Fort Street,  chair-bombing, and Fort Commons. These examples of creativity in public space and placemaking in our city are just the beginning – we are hopeful that future efforts, initiatives and collaborations will emerge as a result of this Dockside Dialogue, and will manifest into even more vibrant spaces in our city.

We are excited that these dialogues are unfolding in our city and look forward to the continuation of Dockside Dialogues, with No. 3 occurring in early September, where we will explore the notion of Making Things in Victoria, and highlighting the Local Industry. Stay tuned for more information via our Twitter feed @docksidegreen and on our website at www.docksidegreen.com/happeninghere!

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