Downtown a Focus of City Open House
Well-known urban planner Brent Toderian has talked extensively about the importance of public engagement in city development. The cities around the world that are trying new and interesting things, are often the ones having authentic and ongoing conversations with their residents.
An important piece of this engagement is involving the community in conversations about change. Change can be tough for many reasons. Studies have shown that as humans, we prefer the status quo and we tend to fear loss more than we value gain. Having conversations about change happening in our home can be even more difficult. The nature of where we live is very personal – our relationship with our street, neighbourhood and city is one of the most important relationships in our lives.
We want, and need to have conversations about change for downtown Lethbridge but that means we need your help. Having more discussions with a broader group of people will help us all learning from each other and rethinking what’s possible for our city.
Arguably, the downtown faces more pressure for change to status quo than anywhere else in Lethbridge. This is why the City of Lethbridge and its many partners and stakeholders are placing so much attention and effort on managing and coordinating this change.
With this in mind, the City of Lethbridge is hosting an open house on Tuesday, March 12 from 3-7pm, inviting residents to learn about, and engage in the development of our City. The “Get Involved Community Conversation” will feature opportunities to learn about and engage in conversations on a number of projects occurring across the City.
The downtown will be a major focus of this event featuring many projects that are being planned or are in various stages of completion within the downtown core. This will include the Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy, Cycling Corridors Functional Study, 3rd Avenue Reconstruction, information on grants and incentive programs, and demonstrations on how to use the parking kiosk and the ‘Way to Park’ app. Stop by to see us and you’ll even get a chance to win a preloaded parking card. For more information on this event, visit https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca.
Together with the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ), Chamber of Commerce, and Lethbridge Police Service, the City will be continuing with monthly Downtown Safety Education Seminars. The next event will be held on March 19at Casa from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. titled, Drug Crisis –What’s Really Happening. This is the second seminar with the first being held in late February giving an introduction and overview of this new initiative. We were very pleased with the excellent turn out and look forward to the on-going sessions to be held the third Tuesday of each month. More information, links to past sessions and upcoming topics can be found at www.lethbridge.ca/ourdowntown.
By building broader, better conversations in our city and our downtown we can get past the mentality that we could never do that in our city and start thinking about how we can.
I challenge every resident to help our downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City committee, we encourage you come to events, have conversations and a part of a positive change. To contribute to the content of this column, join the conversation on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown with yourcomments, questions, ideas and suggestions.
*This column was featured in the Lethbridge Herald on March 11, 2019.