Without free and accessible spaces how can truly inclusive community conversations begin, exist or endure? I would argue, that having space to come together and meet is a crucial ingredient in the creation of connected and vibrant communities; shared space is key to bringing people together, enabling an exchange of ideas, and allowing those conversations to foster real and positive change. A particular kind of change that comes out of our conversations with strangers or friends at a park, at a public event, and amongst Metro Vancouver¹s smaller and maybe less estabilshed groups or organizations of engaged citizens. These are the grass roots conversations that are changing the every-day dialogue of our city.
It’s these interactions and conversations that we have, and the connections that we share that define our community. At a time when disconnection and isolation threaten the important social fabric that’s required to bind our city’s citizens together, now more than ever, we need to actively create the space for these interactions, connections, and conversations to happen. That's why I am elated to be involved with the Open Space initiative. As part of the Alone Together: Connecting in the City community summit, the opportunity has been created for community groups and organizations to self-organize in free open space at one of the three SFU campuses. Even better, recipients will receive a minimum of $500 to put towards their event. I’m so excited about this because it's an initiative about you, and me, and our neighbors. It’s an opportunity for us to build connections, discuss our community issues, and in the process unite and recreate our sense of belonging in this city.
So tell your friends and neighbours, your local community groups or organizations that have started up or are just congregating around an idea - Open Space is available and offering a great opportunity to organize and engage with your fellow citizens! Metro Vancouver needs your voice and your conversations to better connect our urban environment.
— Marissa Lawrence
SFU Public Square