YOUR Vision for the Future of Riversdale

At the Riversdale Love launch on April 30, 2015, Open Studio Projects presented a site specific, community based art intervention asking, what is your vision for the future of Riversdale? We recorded a time-lapse video of our audience putting their ideas onto sticky notes, responding to the speakers, and building the installation. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

This feedback is helping us determine the next steps for Riversdale Love. A round table on affordable housing? An interactive art installation on the street? Mentorship. Collaboration. We're charting a course right now, so stay in touch.

In the meantime, we wanted to share the feedback you gave us. We deciphered hundreds of sticky notes and grouped them into categories. The categories are listed according to which received the MOST feedback.  (So Housing received lots of comments, where History received just a few.) Below each heading, there are some general ideas that capture the audience feedback. In some cases, exact ideas were provided too! THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT!

Housing 

  • Affordable housing 
  • Tiny home trailer parks 
  • Inclusive development 
  • Equality in housing initiatives
  • End homelessness

Food

  • Affordable food
  • Accessible, affordable grocery stores
  • Food education, cooking classes where health is the focus
  • More restaurants
  • Affordable restaurants
  • There were comments for more cafes, fewer cafes, and less expensive cafes
  • Community gardens where produce/profit goes back into feeding the community
  • More support for CHEP’s backyard matching program 
  • SPECIFIC COMMENTS/IDEAS INCLUDE:
    • Sliding scale menu prices, or pay it forward pizza or coffee
    • Collaboration between restaurants and Friendship Inn 
    • Urban agriculture program where people buy local affordable food and learn how to grow it/learn about nutrition/take cooking classes

Getting around

  • Separated bike lanes, safe bike lanes
  • Pedestrian paths
  • Trolley up and down 20th Street
  • Better transit
  • Streets built for people, not cars

Public spaces

  • More/better public spaces designed for people to gather, interact and experience community
  • Multicultural spaces
  • Places for kids to play, safe playgrounds
  • Parklettes, pocket parks, benches and green spaces
  • Community spaces (specific comments include parks, skating rinks, Roxy)
  • SPECIFIC COMMENTS/IDEAS INCLUDE:
    • Use the rooftops
    • Public bathrooms for everyone/public showers with hygiene kits
    • BUSINESSES: Ice cream parlor, Movie theatre, Video arcade, Youth hostel
    • INSTALLATIONS: Steam clock, Fountains, Video booth/Speaker’s corner
    • RECREATION: Soccer park, Zip line
    • COMMUNITY CENTRES: Ecomuseum; Adult wellness centre for life skills, counseling, medical/holistic, etc.; Cooperative woodworking shop/workshop space; Big solar power coop; Art/craft school; Community Art Centre for youth

Art 

SPECIFIC COMMENTS/IDEAS INCLUDE:

  • Chinese archway over Riversdale entrance
  • Public art initiatives—music, buskers, installations, projects
  • Emphasis on indigenous culture (art, music); Showcase diversity
  • Space for people to create art together; make community studios out of existing spaces
  • More art residencies, more artistic development
  • Community art projects/ arts hubs
  • Mural projects
  • Permanent public art installations addressing the histories of communities and individuals

Events

SPECIFIC COMMENTS/IDEAS INCLUDE:

  • Buskers festival, more festivals
  • Events that gather diverse people together
  • Park(ing) Day to continue
  • Theatre camp at the Roxy
  • Fringe Festival in Riversdale
  • Open air concerts/Live music
  • Vigil for missing persons
  • Comic convention
  • Free yoga and tai chi
  • Community wide garage sale
  • Pow wow on 20th street
  • Bring back wake ride

History

  • Honor the history of the neighborhood
  • Treaty 6 land—honor indigenous culture and presence
  • Maintain diversity
  • “We need to tell our stories”

Youth

  • Educate youth for employment
  • Safe places for children to play—streets, playgrounds, public art installations
  • Childcare/community daycare

Safety

  • Police cooperation
  • People want to feel safe, want safety for their children

Process/General

  • Multiculturalism
  • In this neighbourhood, people want an environment where they talk to each other, relate, be kind to each other, listen, love
  • Egalitarian society
  • Inclusivity
  • End poverty
  • Invest in sustainability (i.e. solar panels for street signs)
  • “We don’t want less poor people in the neighbourhood, we want the people in the neighbourhood to be less poor” – quoting Ryan Meile
  • Honor Aboriginal identity, collaboration
  • New businesses that serve old residents
  • Multilingual signage in Riversdale—English, Mandarin, Cree, Ukrainian, Russian

 

Special thanks to Jeff Nachtigall at Open Studio Projects for leading this art intervention. Thanks Brian Hoessler, Strong Roots Consulting  and the entire team at Upstream for helping to translate the sticky notes.

 

Stay in touch @riversdalelove or riversdalelove.com