Monday, June 22, 2009

Creative Communities Conference: Creative Cities Study Tour

The City of Peterborough was the site of the Heritage in Creative Communities Conference at the end of May. One of the activities at the conference was the Creative Cities Study Tour. This activity involved participants visiting 11 different stations around Peterborough. Each station illustrated a theme important to developing a creative community such as fostering creative spaces and adaptive reuse. The stations showcased these themes by not only presenting examples of how creativity had been integrated into the city, but by showing opportunities for improvement. For instance, the theme of arts infrastructure was illustrated with a station at Market Hall, which serves as venue for performing arts. An example of an opportunity for improvement was back alley courtyard that is currently being used as a parking lot, but has the potential to be more multifunctional and help to create a sense of place.

The other stations included former railway lands that were converted to green space along the waterfront, a former post office that is now an apartment building in the downtown core and a house that was being renovated to house a hi-tech industry. Another site was bridge that serves a piece of public art which has the potential to host events such as a market in its underutilized space.
At each of these stations participants were given examples of how the themes were manifested in other cities. Participants were also asked to think about they could apply the lesson to their municipality.

The hand on approach of this tour to the conference theme of Creative Communities was very effective in stimulating discussion on the easy application of some of the themes.

By: Kayla Jonas

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