Landscapes - Summer 2013 - (Page 60)

OPINION: PEOPLE POWER | DÉMOCR ATIE MICHEAL WILLIAMSON, O 2 PLANNING + DESIGN INC. “THANKS FOR ASKING!” FR_ « MERCI DE NOUS AVOIR CONSULTÉS! » Bow to Bluff (B2B) est une initiative citoyenne indépendante qui a fait participer 2500 Calgaréens à une expérience de design dynamique. Le tout en sept semaines à peine. Calgary utilise cette démarche pour promouvoir la participation des citoyens. EN_ BOW TO BLUFF (B2B) is an independent, citizen-led initiative bent on transforming a kilometer-long public corridor in Calgary. The corridor, which flanks the Sunnyside Light Rail Transit line, runs through an older, highly-valued, inner-city neighbourhood between the Bow River and McHugh Bluff – from Bow to Bluff. In the fall of 2011, that quiet corridor captured the attention of literally thousands of Calgarians, who actively took part in a dynamic design experiment. In a scant seven weeks, the B2B partnership collected over 2000 ideas for transforming the public space. The story began simply, yet it was in many ways unique. From the outset, B2B pioneered an innovative model of citizen empowerment. The unusual partnership was launched when a passionate group of dedicated volunteers successfully applied for a grant from The City of Calgary Council Innovation Fund. The funding allowed 60 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES the group to operate independently, hire consultants and manage the project on its own terms. The City and its Departments were stakeholders equal to any other interested party. Traditionally, projects are initiated and managed by a governing body or an existing community association. In this case, the B2B citizen group was formed with the specific intent of improving the public realm. The roles of key players were redefined, and the citizen-led coalition directed the design of a strategically important public space. Project management was collaborative, and the engagement process was inclusive of everyone with an interest in the neighborhood’s public space. AN INCLUSIVE EXPERIMENT In early fall, B2B engaged O 2 Planning + Design and Intelligent Futures to help plan and coordinate a large-scale design experiment that would test the idea of creating an entirely citizen-led engagement process. The results were surprising and gratifying. The initiative engaged over 2500 people in reimagining the B2B corridor over the seven weeks of engagement, co-design, and place-making. To put this into context, the two-year PlanIt Calgary initiative engaged only 7000 citizens. The cost of B2B was a tiny fraction of the PlanIt process and created both an imaginative vision as well as enduring support. OPEN INVITATIONS The engagement process involved four stages: Mobilizing, Analyzing, Conceptualizing and Realizing. The overriding strategy of the first Mobilizing stage was to provide as many entry points into the conversation as possible. To extend an open invitation to Calgarians, B2B volunteers or O 2 designers staffed an engagement storefront space which was open during regular hours, on evenings and weekends, and invited people to talk face to face. What were their views on the corridor as it existed, and what would they like to see in the future? The corridor itself was alive with some 25 different events including a series of walking tours led by people familiar with the neighbourhood and its history. Over 200 people attended a friendly ‘Iron Sketch’ design competition, in which the audience assisted three local designers (including one from O 2) in solving a study area design problem in one hour. The audience voted for their favorite design solution. In the second round of mobilization, B2B scheduled additional walking tours in the corridor and installed community ‘sounding boards’ – a series of post-it and chalk boards – allowing citizens to share their ideas right on the site. The storefront remained open, feedback was continually updated, and B2B provided opportunities for additional dialogue via website, blog, web surveys, texting, email, Twitter and Facebook.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2013

My NEW Favourite Places
Mes NOUVEAUX coups de coeur
Thompson Plus...
Planning Excellence
From Terrain VAGUE to Terrain VIEW
Folly Forest
L'Initiative de charte canadienne du paysage
What is Don Hill Listening to Now?
LACF FAPC: Rewarding Curious Minds / Curiosité primée
The Nature of Design
National Honour Awards
National Merit Awards
National Citation Awards
Reading Landscapes
Meet the Jury
B2B : Thanks for Asking!
The Last Word
LP +

Landscapes - Summer 2013