This week I attended the City of Kitchener's Good Neighbour Summit. The evening provided an opportunity to hear some of the experiences of neighbours throughout the city as well as a chance to provide ideas and connect with city staff, organizations, and other residents. We heard about #lovemyhood initiatives and examples of placemaking.
Are you familiar with the term placemaking? It was a term I was only slightly familiar with until I became part of Kitchener's Neighbourhood Strategy project team in 2015. Through that work, our team helped create Kitchener's first neighbourhood strategy, known as #lovemyhood. Much of that strategy focuses on placemaking.
Placemaking encourages citizens to reimagine community spaces in new, inclusive, and welcoming ways. According to the website Project for Public Spaces, "strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value." This process tends to look at a community's assets and build on those. That sounds like #365ofgoodWR to me!
There are many ways to be involved in placemaking of course. However, if you're unsure of where to start, you may want to visit the placemaking section of the #lovemyhood website or reach out to the Neighbourhood Development Office (Kitchener). There are even grants in place to help you with your project. The next round of applications are due by May 27th, 2019.