I just came back from the Ideas Fair the city put on at Conexus Arts Centre. It was the big public consultation night where all the Citizen Circles who are participating in the Official Community Plan renewal process showed off what they’d been discussing.
And I wasn’t just there as a reporter. I was also supposed to be running the prairie dog’s Citizen Circle booth and talking about that episode of the podcast where we beaked off about the city and called that our contribution to the consultation process. Anyway, I spent so much of the night wandering about, interviewing other tables that I missed all the talks and mostly neglected my duties as a Citizen Circle representative.
I did come away with a few thoughts though….
- Man, we were lazy bastards. There were groups there who met weekly for months to put together their Design Regina submissions. And they had slick booths with pictures and dioramas and rick shaws (seriously, frickin’ rick shaws) and videos and stuff. I was just handing out cds with mp3s of our podcast on it. Such slackers.
- I spoke to a lot of people and it was amazing how pretty much everyone at this event seemed to be on the same page: More emphasis on density, build more affordable housing, make the city walkable, preserve our architectural heritage, encourage mixed use development, support a vibrant cultural scene and get better public transit. Actually, better transit was a priority almost everywhere. City hall better be listening because people (the ones who bother to get involved in the political process, anyway) are pretty much unanimous in what they want out of their city.
- There were a lot of city staffers in attendance making the rounds of the tables. That was a very encouraging thing to see.
- I’m 90-something per cent sure only one councillor showed up: Mike O’Donnell. Have to say, he’s a top notch city politician.
- A lot of people came over to say how much they enjoy reading prairie dog. That was really nice to hear.
- I walked both ways to the event. Managed to get from my home in Cathedral to the Conexus Centre in about half an hour. That is so not that far. Also, Wascana Park at night in the fall is fucking gorgeous.
- Ended the night in the Fainting Goat and that is where I started writing this post. The sazerac = 1 delicious cocktail.
That’s it for now. I’ll be writing something more formal up for the next issue of the paper (which comes out next Thursday). And I’m sure we’ll be discussing the Ideas Fair in the next podcast.