Placemaking through resilient infrastructure.
Our first Neighbour Hub installation, a resilient bench, is being installed March 2019 in the Fairview neighbourhood in Victoria, BC. This Neighbour Hub was co-created with the Leonard St block watch and designed for Shift Collaborative’s local Building Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative. The design of this piece spanned the course of four months as desired components and aesthetics were shaped collaboratively.
This bench project was designed to include the energy and communication Neighbour Hub components. The bench is also designed with an internal compartment, accessible by the block watch, to store essential supplies for the neighbourhood, such as a radio and water filters, in case the city’s infrastructure is ever compromised.
In addition to acting as a shared emergency kit, the bench provides neighbours with power outlets and a community bulletin board. The cell phone charging station is powered by a solar panel situated on the awning above the bench. Two outlets are available for year round use, inviting neighbours to spend time at the bench and read about posted neighbourhood news.
Through engaging visuals, including a digitized asset map co-created with local residents, this Neighbour Hub project aims to educate neighbours on the implications of a natural disaster and prompt everyone to create plans with their families, including storing an emergency kit at home. This physical resource will be a reminder of the conversations and skills gained at the celebratory block party event and will encourage residents to continue to work towards resilient outcomes together into the future.