-by Anne Fnlay-Stewart, and friends

Facebook is an interesting phenomenon. In its relatively short life it has been the source of joy, cruelty, information, connection and deception.
Today I read an interchange that demonstrated the role Facebook can play in civil discourse. It is edited only for length and clarity, and those involved in the conversation are not identified so that you, dear reader, are not distracted by any pre-conceived notions.
We at the Hub look forward to your thoughts on this exchange about "Placemaking" as it applies to our own city.


Person A -I just picked up a copy of arguably the most popular, highly distributed and well read regionally developed, full colour magazine in Southern Georgian Bay. That includes Owen Sound.
The awesome article about Placemaking: creating power of place in Southern Georgian Bay has 10 pages in the magazine, including two full pages devoted to map of Southern Georgian Bay region.
Stayner, Meaford, Wasaga, Collingwood, Craigleith, Eugenia, Creemore, Thornbury, Kimberley, etc. -- all appear on the map and in the article.
Guess which city doesn't exist on the map or anywhere in the article?
Owen Sound.
Could it be that those of us who have been heralding the importance of place in culture and tourism building have actually been on to something?
Person B asks - Can you explain place making to me? Thank you
Person C - provides a helpful link -

Person D - Place making its not something that happens through policy or municipal tourism budgets. Sharing stories about our place through publications may cost money, but that is another issue.Owen Sound (and the regions west and north of us who are also not on this map) do have a strong sense of place, anchored by the escarpment, the clean bays, and the surrounding rural countryside. We could do a better job of celebrating this - not just our city council or staff but our citizens.

Person C - Placemaking does happen with good city policies. Its about investing in existing neighbourhoods instead of constantly adding new ones. Its about putting people ahead of cars and roads. Politicians push the repetitive political mantra that we need more jobs and growth to make our city prosperous. Jobs and growth do not create prosperity. It is the other way around. Prosperous cities are the ones that attract jobs and create growth. The people who lead our cities have to create a new pattern of development, and implement the policies, programs and services from which jobs and growth will ultimately flow. Placemaking is about building great cities and great neighbourhoods.

Person A – quoting the magazine. "Narrowly defined, Placemaking connotes reimagining and reinventing public spaces as the heart of a community to strengthen the connection between people and the places they share. However, the broader interpretation looks at "power of place" on a broader scale - how a municipality, county or region establishes and conveys its distinct identity, forms connections within the community and draws in "outsiders" to experience the community's unique attractions.

""For me, Placemaking is a higher order strategic look at at what you want your community to look like that involves economic, community and cultural development", says Martin Rydlo, Collingwood's economic and business development director. ""It's a triangle."

Person E - Municipal and provincial policy has a role in placemaking for the things you don't see right away - narrower streets, more density, better recreational infrastructure. But you cannot force sense of place with festivals and other typical tourism initiatives without the strong underlying policies that make people happy to live here. Well, maybe you can - give me an example.
I think we should make the city an awesome place for residents first, and not worry too much about tourists.

Person A- We need both for a healthy economy.

Person D - Our children grew up in a safe, beautiful small city with great schools. They could walk to school, and to their part time jobs (on opposite sides of town - to the very limit of our sprawl!). They grew up without dealing with traffic or air pollution, and they swam in freshwater lakes and streams, canoed in our park a few minutes from home, snowboarded during electives in elementary school, and played music in high school bands with other kids they had known since nursery school. Owen Sound offers these wonderful opportunities to form strong attachments to 'place'.



CopyRight ©2015, ©2016, ©2017 of Hub Content
is held by content creators