Enjoy this piece done by KOIN 6 News.
At a City of Duncan council meeting last week, Communitecture presented a vision for Whistler Street that would see it transformed from a troubled back alley into a vibrant public square.
Whistler Street sits behind a commercial strip along the Trans Canada Highway, off of Coronation Street. Because many of the businesses face away from it, the street feels more like a service alley than a neighbourhood street.
“Generally, the street and the private lots appear to have more asphalt parking area than necessary, very little landscaping, and no sidewalks, making the street feel vacant and unwelcoming,” according to the Communitecture's report. “In part due to these conditions, the street has become a site of illicit drug sales, the public nuisances of drug use, and other criminal or unsafe activity in recent years.”
Business owners have been clamouring for solutions. They’ve organized themselves to patrol and clean up the area. When Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visited Duncan last month, he came to Whistler Street to hear their concerns.
What if you got your neighbors together and occupied the public spaces on your book, transforming them into whatever you would all want it to be? What would you include? ...A solar-paneled tea station? A little free library? A mural? This is the type of urban placemaking that the City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon inspires and facilitates.
In this Upstream Conversation, we spoke with Mark Lakeman an urban place-maker, permaculture designer, and community facilitator who co-founder of The City Repair Project. In the last decade, he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone.
We spoke with him while he was visiting Santa Cruz about the capitalist history of the Urban Grid and how to reclaim our streets, revive community, and belong once more to place.
We design beautiful and sustainable places that bring people together in community. We are absolutely committed to sustainability, while respecting the needs and priorities of all the individuals, families, and communities with whom we work and play.