Which location in downtown Courtenay makes you feel most connected to the community?
That’s a question a team of researchers from Vancouver Island University will be exploring with members of the public on Saturday, March 5, as part of a unique community mapping project called “Where is Here?”
The mapping team will join small groups of Comox Valley residents on walking tours of downtown Courtenay throughout the afternoon on Saturday.
Each resident will be asked to identify a place in the downtown area that makes them feel most connected to the community, and will speak about their reasons when the group visits that location.
The walking tours will be videotaped, and the videos uploaded to an online map that is accessible to the wider public.
The map will contribute to an overall project that examines the question of vibrancy in downtown areas.
Anyone who is interested in participating should send an e-mail to project coordinator Sharon Karsten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The message should include your name, your downtown ‘connect spot’ (note – this must be within a 15-minute walking radius of the Comox Valley Art Gallery), and a brief description of why this spot is important to you.
You should also indicate your availability for an hour-long time slot, at either 1, 2 or 3 p.m.
“We know that small cities are struggling to survive in a changing economic landscape,” said Karsten. “We know that downtown areas in these cities are ‘beacons’ of civic identity and they can offer opportunities for economic, social and cultural development. Making our downtowns more vibrant requires knowledge of what residents value about them. We want to know what people love about their downtowns, and what keeps them there.”
For details about the project visit “whereishereculturalmapping” on facebook, or www.whereishereculturalmapping.com