Oct 182015

Place Making for downtown communities and local neighbourhoods

Ottawa’s squares and plazas and other summer open spaces are useless to pedestrians during snow-months: Confederation Square for instance. Le Breton Flat’s big spaces are sealed off limits for almost half the year as are the NCC parklands along the River. Beyond the Green Belt and in the suburbs local people have few or no places to meet, to get to know neighbours, enjoy life in common.

Please click on this update on Jane Jacob’s “Place Making” — something more than spaces — would it make sense for our City to adopt Place Making as a desirable goal and standard? https://youtu.be/ea2w9KDEip4 More info? Here’s a source: http://www.sustainable.org/images/stories/pdf/Placemaking_v1.pdf

  One Response to “Place Making for downtown communities and local neighbourhoods”

  1. I believe that there are far too many architecturally created “spaces” in Ottawa, the most noticeable among them — created by some famous architects — surround all our museums and galleries such as the National Art Gallery and the old “new” city hall which are disasters as public places and or even spaces.
    On the other hand, we have the Bytown Market, Parliament Hill — and we used to have the Sparks Street Mall — which are, or were, about place.
    Neighbourhood parks can be places or spaces, depending on what the neighbourhood makes of them. Parks which attract dog owners tend to be “palces” more than spaces as oweners intereact, although it sometimes leads to strange naming rituals like ” Aren’t you Rover’s dad?” and so on.
    Also, as part of our private pre-post conversation, I think the Rink of Dreams and Confederation Park meet Jacob’s definition of “place”.
    I particularly like this quote by Jacobs which I got from following your link.
    “…that the sight of people attracts still other people, is something that city planners and city architectural designers seem to find incomprehensible. They operate on the premise that city people seek the sight of emptiness, obvious order and quiet. Nothing could be less true. The presences of great numbers of people gathered together in cities should not only be frankly accepted as a physical fact – they should also be enjoyed as an asset and their presence celebrated.”

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