Here are the outcomes from our second session that took place on February 15th.
What is Open Space?
Open space sessions is a form of engagement and a gathering of ideas into an “open space” to allow everyone to bring their ideas, projects, issues and dreams to the table. Open Space’s goal is to: form groups (action groups) to carry on these ideas, projects, issues and dreams into the future.
The Groups that Formed
A Expanding the Downtown Business Commission to Wyse Road
The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission (DDBC) is hoping to expand their jurisdiction to the Wyse Road commercial corridor. The represented business owners are diverse, and the DDBC bridges the gap between them and the municipal and provincial governments, RCMP, etc. Currently, there is a $250,000 levy within downtown Dartmouth, and business owners have a vote to ensure that levy. The DDBC is interested in proposing a potential $100,000 levy for the Wyse Road corridor.
The next steps for the DDBC should include: gaining interest among the business community, sending a letter to the CAO and clerk of municipality, which in turn will be sent to commercial business owners, and adding to the board (8-12 people). Another possible step should include investigating the possibility of a Switch event for Wyse Road. This could involve collaboration between the DDBC and Wyse Society to plan. It would ultimately act to change the perception of Wyse Road to a destination and not simply a corridor. Switch could also act as a catalyst for future Wyse Road beautification projects and active transport infrastructure.
B Redesign of Northbrook Park space to increase accessibility, aesthetic value, and usage
The Northbrook Park, behind the Wyse Road Sobeys, contains a playground, a baseball field, and a pedestrian made path. It is mainly acts as thoroughfare, and as a hotspot for local daycares. Currently, the park is not being utilized to its full potential. In recent years, it has suffered from several safety issues, including lack of adequate lighting, and attracting underage drinkers and loiterers. Furthermore, its not accessible to the community. There is a lack of proper signage, it is surrounded on two sides by chain link fence, and it serves more as a walkway than a destination. Lastly, it is lacking upkeep, leaving the aesthetic appeal of the space.
The primary community goal for the space is to create a safer, better used, and more aesthetically appealing community destination. This can be accomplished through the smaller goals of increasing the lighting and the signage, installing a more clearly defined path, as well as making aesthetic improvements like promoting better upkeep, removing unsightly fences, and installing artwork.
C Design Proposal for the empty lot next to the bridge to enhance community involvement and housing affordability
This action group envisioned a multi-purpose large building consisting of 4 floors that aim to address for community planning themes:
Ground Floor – Community Involvement:
Detached spaces for non-profit organizations and activities on the street level
2nd Floor – Recreation
Large space that serves as a public exhibition space for local artists, children, and the community.
Possible events include, playing area for kids, art gallery, and diverse exhibitions.
3rd Floor – Housing
Create affordable housing for the low income population through efficient use of space, and low-cost, appropriate design.
4th Floor – Luxury
Full market price housing encouraged by the fantastic view of the bridge and harbour at high altitude.
Factors that will make this work:
High density coming from the bridge, street level
Accessibility advantage due to proximity to the bridge transit terminal
Location advantage for seniors and families.
Contact the owners of the space (Murphy’s Family)
Meet with housing Nova Scotia
Staying in contact with the Planning & Design Centre for support and collaboration
D Utilization of empty lot space as mixture of community & garden space
This action group’s central idea was to utilize the empty lot on Wyse Road next to the Tim Hortons as a Garden/Public/Green space. Their brainstorm of initial ideas included: fundraisers for planting trees, “stone” soup cooks nearby (possibly in churches) for the community and increased accessibility via a boardwalk / gravel access. Other ideas included more lighting, security cameras, fences and domesticated shrubs, inclusion of portapotties, washing stations and a sandlot / toy area, and finally bike racks.
The group formed an action list of three steps:
1. Networking – sourcing needs, grants & money from local organizations and contacting them
2. Clarifying the group’s vision via a visioning session presented to the take action group
3. Background research into who owns the land, how much it is worth, what type of zoning is present, who will / has lease(d) it and how to make it publicly accessible
The group brainstormed a network list including members of the take action group, local MLAs, MPs, and the city councilor as well as master gardeners.
Thanks to all who could make it!