People have been telling us a lot about their experience via online engagement, but it’s different seeing it firsthand. And although our big plans for in-person engagement shifted with COVID, our Fieldnotes crew is still connecting with locals to get on-the-ground perspectives, which is vital as our design team plans for the future.
Fieldnotes staffers interview Downsview locals on the ground
Fieldnotes is on-going. It meets people where they’re at and asks how they experience, use, and move around their neighbourhoods. We’ve been visiting parks, street corners, plazas, and bus stops, speaking with people who don’t rely very much on cars—including youth, single parents, cyclists, seniors, and essential workers—to gather their unique perspectives on getting around, enjoying parks, doing errands, and meeting people. We’ve also had local cyclists take the id8downsview team on rides—observing COVID protocols, of course—to see local challenges, gaps, and opportunities in cycling infrastructure.
“There’s no place to meet neighbours—it takes away from the community feel."
A snapshot of what we’re hearing so far
We want to see through local eyes to learn what it’s like around Downsview, so we can amplify what’s working for people and propose long-term solutions to things that aren’t. While our future plans focus on a particular area, we want to design our lands in ways that contribute and connect to surrounding neighbourhoods. As Michael Sørensen, the lead id8downsview designer, says, “As a design team, we need to see and understand the local conditions people are encountering now, how they’re negotiating walking, cycling and transit. It’s clear that people are very resourceful and persistent in finding safe and enjoyable routes—to shops, work, parks, and transit—and we know that these routes should be much better. We’re hearing that walking is an important part of many people’s daily lives in the area and we want to honour that with a great public realm, a connected network of sidewalks, trails, and bike infrastructure. The Fieldnotes show us how much people here want this as well.”
Locals are showing us why they love Downsview & what irks them.
We’re still in the process of understanding this area and we couldn’t do it without the locals who’ve been generously sharing their local expertise and passion for the place they call home. With your help we'll be better able to plan for the future in ways that contribute to and connect with the surrounding area. Thanks Downsview!