Vibrant Community Spaces
We believe in the critical importance of placemaking; the way community comes into spaces to bring them to life through action. Through play and conversation, through sport, food, and friendship– these spaces form the bedrock of our neighbourhoods. We must continue to improve our public spaces and we need to focus more on designing them to encourage the interactions that activate public spaces as powerful nodes of community.
PROTECT OUR PARKS
The City should ensure that that there is no net loss of parkland in any neighbourhood, and develop plans to acquire and develop more small parks in neighbourhoods that need them. We should also open up more city park space to dog owners, who are underserved by current spaces.
The Crystal Pool/North Park plan needs to put residents first and listen to their needs. A new facility is needed, but there should be no reduction of outdoor spaces, community-oriented facilities over athletic facilities, and more appropriate services for families and people of diverse culture backgrounds. There are also simple things that the city can do to mitigate the temporary disruption during construction - even through small measures like putting a temporary basketball court on a nearby parking lot.
We also need to try more small community placemaking projects. We think that the key to successful placemaking is putting decisions in the hands of residents. There are a few ideas we think are promising, which would require the city to loosen its rules to try something new:
- Pilot community cookfires and communal BBQ stations in parks
- Increase the amount of city park space available to dog owners
- Make it easier to garden on boulevards by designating more boulevards adjacent to multi-family buildings as allotment gardens for vegetables, pollinator flower gardens and native ecosystems
SUPPORT PLACEMAKING ENTREPRENEURS
When entrepreneurs are proposing to invest their money to create more vibrant spaces for residents to enjoy, whether food trucks, patios, play spaces or public art - the city’s attitude needs to be “how can we help make this happen” not “why should this happen”. Here are some things we want to see more of:
- Allow food trucks in the downtown core, and in areas where shift workers are unserved by existing lunch options, and expand the number of food trucks
- Promote the creation of more patio space downtown
- Revitalize the inner harbour with off-season events for Victoria residents
- Conduct a full-summer second phase pilot of restricting traffic on Government St during the weekend and supporting more music, arts and mobile businesses to enliven our core tourist district
INVEST IN FOOD SECURITY
Renters without access to gardening space and low-income people struggle to access enough nutritious food should have the ability to grow their own food. The city has made good steps forward by embracing the Urban Food Table as a source of policy innovation in the food security and urban farming world, and we need to keep moving forward. As a start, we would hold the city accountable for enabling urban farming and increase urban food assets by 50% by 2020 with online tracking.
We would make it easier for residents and farm businesses to grow food here in the city by cutting red tape for renters and homeowners to use boulevard space for gardens, enabling leaf mulch collected by the City to be delivered to residents and farm businesses, and increase deliveries to non-profit projects that desire to grow food, native ecosystems and pollinators gardens. As a longer-term initiative, we would also explore incentives for property owners and developers to provide unused space for urban food production to urban farms.
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