Fifth Annual Regina Jane’s Walk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnly three more sleeps until we host our 5th Annual Jane’s Walk in Regina! This weekend, May 4 and 5, there will be seven free walks for people to participate in – Jane’s Walk is a walking discussion where participants should feel free to get in on the discussion and make connections with neighbours across the city.

Since we started hosting Jane’s Walk five years ago, it’s been great to see the event grow and change. The level of community support for the walks in our city has always been strong which makes it easy to want to keep the flame burning. It is also a total treat each year to see what the topics will be and who will come forward to share their perspective. To celebrate our 5th year we have walks that explore everything from modernist architecture to community murals, and timely discussions about heritage, booming development, and housing in our city.

 

This year’s walks include:

Saturday May 4, 2013

11am: Bike Regina hosting a ride through the downtown to discuss bikability in the city

2pm: Story-teller Vincent Murphy exploring the history of the Warehouse District

3pm: Jeannie Mah returning to host her popular tour of modernist architecture in the downtown

4pm: An exploration and celebration of the Central Library by a collection of dedicated patrons including heritage architect Bernard Flaman, and writer Florence Stratton

Sunday May 5, 2013

1:30pm: Jan Morier and Jessica Hannah providing a view of community murals created by new and established artists throughout North Central

2pm: Professor Marc Spooner leading a discussion about homelessness in Regina’s downtown and Heritage neighbourhoods

4pm: Martin Gourlie leading a discussion about the opportunities and challenges inherent in one of Regina’s biggest development projects, the Regina Revitalization Initiative

 

You can get a list of the walks with more details here.

You can also click here to download a pdf of the walks, including their start times and locations.

Thanks again to all of our community partners!

Jane’s Walk in 2009 photo by Michael Bell

Fifth Annual Regina Jane’s Walk

MUPpets in the field: Laura

Alright… I’ve finally brought myself to reflect a bit on my internship and share a few thoughts, just as my classmates so generously have this summer. Cheers.

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This summer I had the pleasure of interning with the transportation planning division at IBI Group, a large consulting company with 76 offices worldwide that is based in Toronto. While my background is not transportation related, I really enjoyed being challenged to learn about these issues for four months since the remainder of my course and project work at McGill will not be transportation related (though active transportation networks are of great interest to me). At the start of the summer I felt like I was in over my head with technical language and planning concerns I’d never considered, but by the time I was on the road back to Montreal this fall it really sank in just how much I’d learned.

While I spent most of my summer working in Toronto, I was lucky to be able to work from Regina for three weeks in July (family BBQs and hangouts in Vic Park? Yes, please!). As many RUE readers know, IBI Group is the consultant currently working on both the Downtown Transportation Study and the city-wide Transportation Master Plan (TMP) for Regina. While I assisted with a number of projects in other cities, my work this summer largely centred on the pedestrian and cycling aspects of the Regina TMP – documenting current walking/cycling conditions in the city, researching precedents and planning approaches in other cities that may be applicable, and helping develop draft recommendations.

While in Regina, I also took part in the TMP multi-modal workshops that brought together city staff, local stakeholder groups, and citizens to discuss issues related to walking and cycling (including walk/cycle tours to discuss the current conditions and opportunities as a group… see above photo). The workshops were extremely helpful with respect to the work I was doing – city staff were very open with their knowledge about the costs of installing and maintaining various kinds of infrastructure (a huge learning moment for me) as well as current policies and processes. The open discussion was productive and allowed everyone to actively engage in a conversation about what options could work best in Regina – and there have already been some good things come out of the workshops. As I posted about here, Regina cyclists have been contributing to a cycling map to identify obstacles and amenities in the city – information that is helpful not just to local cyclists, but to planners and policymakers as well.

Overall, I don’t think I could ask for a better internship. My bosses and colleagues were generous with their time and knowledge which made for a great learning environment, and on top of that, I got to take a fresh look at the city in which I grew up and look for ways to make it even better… one of my favourite pastimes.

MUPpets in the field: Laura

The Citizen Flâneur

Just a quick follow-up post from Shawn Micallef’s talk at the Urbanspace Gallery (a great space that hosts shows specifically about cities). Both Berlin on the Go and the remounting of their exhibit Walkability were great (the Walkability show is all online and I suggest going to check it out).

In that post, I’d mentioned briefly the notion of the flâneur – a wanderer and observer of city life. I noted in my last post that Shawn is seen as Toronto’s resident flâneur and that his twitter feed is fun to follow – partially because he often attaches photos of what he’s observing. But, he isn’t the only one who does this. Lots of people snap photos and share them, occasionally with commentary, on facebook, twitter, tumblr….. and it has lead me to wonder if handheld technology allows, and maybe even promotes, all citizens to be flâneurs in some way.

  

I know people complain that smartphones, instagram, and tweeting remove us from real life (and don’t get me wrong – that is very possible :), but I think this technology may be inadvertently encouraging people to pay attention to the small and understated moments of city life. Bits of graffiti scrawled in an alley, a dog waiting for their owner outside a coffee shop, a couple sharing a funny joke on a park bench, and garbage overflowing from city bins may not seem like things needing documentation. But it is the act of noticing, thinking about, and hopefully discussing these small moments and patterns around us that is important. Maybe by sharing our observations we can actually contribute to a greater awareness, appreciation, and interaction with our local landscapes.

So, what do you think – do you think that our techie devices and social media (smart phones, digital camera, twitter, facebook) have the potential to make people more (instead of less) aware and thoughtful of their surroundings? Has it changed the way you look at your surroundings?

Coincidentally, I just noticed this post on Atlantic Cities about how smart phones and technology may also encourage people to walk more… interesting read.

The Citizen Flâneur

Village of North Regina

Here are some pictures from the Jane’s Walk I lead around the Village of North Regina at the beginning of May.  It was a very wet afternoon and unfortunately the group got soaked.  There was even time for hail which, luckily, we were able to shelter from.  When the walk continued, washed out conditions meant tricky footing the participants.  Periods of sun and then more showers followed.

Continue reading “Village of North Regina”

Village of North Regina

Jane’s Walks 2012 Seeing your neighbourhood through Sparks

Sunday afternoon, April 29th, the Cathedral Sparks kicked off Jane’s Walks 2012.  The group of 5 and 6-year-old girl guides, lead by Sparks leader Karen Meagher, spent time reflecting on their favourite things in their neighbourhood.  The walk began with a recording of conversations between the Sparks and Karen while they were drawing images from their neighbourhood.  The group, about 35 people, then went walking through Cathedral, down 13th Avenue and ending up along the dike at the southern end of the neighbourhood.

Continue reading “Jane’s Walks 2012 Seeing your neighbourhood through Sparks”

Jane’s Walks 2012 Seeing your neighbourhood through Sparks

Walking in America

I want to share a piece from BBC News’ special Altered States about getting people walking in US cities once more. 

The video does a great job of highlighting the problems with sprawl while also providing positive ideas (Matt Tomasulo: city hero) for change.  The city in question, Raleigh, North Carolina, has some serious infrastructure challenges to over come, especially in suburban areas. 

This video actually makes me feel optimistic about Regina’s chances for suburban retrofit.  Comparing our suburbs to featured areas of Raleigh, Regina neighbourhoods have a better foundation to build upon.

Check it out.

How to get America to Walk

Walking in America

School Board Meeting

The decision to close Haultain and/or Dieppe schools will take place at the Public School Board Office (1600 4th avenue) tonight at 7pm. 

The two motions for closure, on the agenda tonight, are as follows:

1) That Dieppe School be closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year and that its attendance area be consolidated with that of McLurg School; with all current regular Kindergarten to Grade 8 pupils (and their siblings) attending Dieppe School to be eligible for transportation (in accordance with established procedures) to either McLurg School or Walker School commencing with the 2012-13 school year; and

2) That Haultain School be closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year and that its attendance area be consolidated with that of Glen Elm School; with all current regular Kindergarten to Grade 8 pupils (and their siblings) attending Haultain School to be eligible for transportation (in accordance with established procedures) to either Glen Elm School, McDermid School or Imperial School commencing with the 2012-13 school year

You can see the agenda here.

For past posts on the closure of Dieppe and Haultain see here, here and here.

School Board Meeting

Haultain and Dieppe school closures: Walkability

Haultain School in Eastview neighbourhood (pictured) along with Dieppe School in West Regina are up for closure.

Dieppe and Haultain schools still need public support to fight their closures next year.  There are two school board meetings, November 22nd and December 13th, school supporters can attend.  The final decision on both school’s fates will be made January 10 (Leader Post). 

In this post I want to focus on the walking distances students may face if their neighbourhood school is closed.  Not every student walks to school, but we think it is important that children are able to walk to school.  Nearby schools might allow for the following: greater access to extracurriculars, for the grounds to become a destination play-space/hangout outside of school hours and increased independence for children as they age.   

Continue reading “Haultain and Dieppe school closures: Walkability”

Haultain and Dieppe school closures: Walkability

13th Avenue Safeway Feedback

There’s been a lot of buzz regarding the application to rezone and expand the Safeway on 13th Avenue over the last week or so. Lots of relevant points have been brought up by people in the community, with a good turnout at the public come and go session last week, and it looks as though the developers are listening to concerns and will be going back to the drawing board to see what they can do. It is important for citizens to provide feedback on projects in their city and be involved in the process. Some have even started a facebook group in support of preserving the ‘Marina’ style facade.

The City is accepting citizen feedback until Aug 26 (1 week from now), so go here and read the proposal, then take the time to email the project team and your City Coucillor with your thoughts on this development.  You’ll see some of my correspondence with the City below – they want to hear from you! Continue reading “13th Avenue Safeway Feedback”

13th Avenue Safeway Feedback