Walk Leaders: Juanita Metzger and Sue Weare
Text by: Juanita Metzger
Photographs by: Juanita Metzger
On this walk, we examined what makes a neighbourhood or street feel vibrant, dynamic, safe and healthy. We used the Power of 10 concept developed by the Project for Public Spaces (PPS): the idea that there should be at least 10 attractions, reasons to visit or things to do, in a great public space. We visited four locations in downtown Kitchener.
Each location prompted a lively discussion about its merits and, if it seemed to be lacking dynamics and vibrancy, about how it could be improved. People felt they were looking at familiar places with a new perspective. Many felt that the Power of 10 concept, as simple as it is, allowed them to examine and talk about their own streets or neighbourhoods in a new way.
The most magical moment came at the end of the walk. As people drifted away into the night, under the rising super moon, Elif Günçe – a recent immigrant to Canada and Kitchener who I had met online and at various community meetings – came to tell me how much she had enjoyed the walk.
She and her fiancée, who was visiting from Turkey, had decided to join us in order to explore the community as a potential new home.
They were so impressed by the energy, enthusiasm and engagement of the walk participants that they decided, then and there, they would live in Kitchener when her fiancée returned to Canada permanently. That’s the power of community in action! Beautiful.