Rapid Placemaking to Bring Back Main Street

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Canada’s main streets are the hearts of our communities. They are the places we go to work, shop, gather, and play. Restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 have hit main streets in cities and towns hard. Many small businesses have shuttered. Thousands more are grappling with an uncertain future. We need to act now to save these vital civic spaces. But if we want to make local commercial areas… Continue reading

Major Urban Parks Audit and Assessment

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Mexico City is home to two of the largest urban parks in the word: Chapultepec and San Juan de Aragon. Both parks offer green space, forested areas and amenities such as playgrounds and skate parks.  Happy City assessed the Ministry of Environment’s new vision for these major urban parks. We measured how the ministry’s investments in new infrastructure, landscaping and social programming impacted social wellbeing elements such as equity, safety,… Continue reading

Inspired by Nature: Superior Creative Placemaking Master Plan

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People walking on the streets during a festival in Superior

The Town of Superior, Colorado turned to Happy City to lead the creation of a strategy to unify the community through investment in art, public space design and programming. Inspired by Nature: Superior’s Creative Placemaking Master Plan provides arts and culture-based paths to elevate the town’s identity while celebrating its existing values and assets. Our approach to creating a made-in-Superior Creative Placemaking Master Plan focused on deep community engagement that… Continue reading

Walkable Rotterdam: Bloemhof

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Image credit: Mark Bolk Through deep engagement conducted both on-site and remotely, Happy City helped the City of Rotterdam understand the mobility and public space needs of marginalized groups in the city’s Bloemhof neighbourhood. Working directly with residents, we developed pragmatic walkability solutions. Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible ways to boost wellbeing. In many cities, however, the benefits of walking are not equally distributed. People of… Continue reading

Designing for Difference

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Public space isn’t always truly public: the way we look, sound and move affects our experiences in city space. Here in Vancouver, residents continue to face barriers to access, comfort and safety in public space based on their identities, from race, gender and sexual orientation to age, income and ability. When residents experience overlapping identities, these barriers can be even more challenging.  We envision a future where Vancouver’s public spaces… Continue reading