We bring communities together to create social infrastructure.
Our co-creative design process enables groups to collaboratively work towards a shared vision to activate public space in their neighbourhood.
Our Most Recent Project:
Neighbour Hubs create vibrant public spaces that foster community connection and provide emergency resources for neighbourhoods in Victoria. City of Victoria, working alongside Building Resilient Neighbourhoods (BRN) and Neighbour Lab (NL), is supporting a placemaking and resilience initiative which will seek to bring Neighbour Hubs to neighbourhoods across Victoria. Learn more about Neighbour Hubs here.
This summer, neighbours voted on the “HIVE” Hub design to be installed along KIngs Rd in Quadra VIllage. Walk or roll over to Wark St Park to check it out for yourself!
Drawing inspiration from the symmetry of a beehive, the HIVE will be buzzing with opportunities to connect with your neighbours. The HIVE offers varying seating options – from individual seating with comfortable side tables to large group seating for afternoon picnics. Stay rain or shine with an arched-shaped roof. Surrounded by four hive-shaped planter boxes, you’ll feel amidst the pollinators! HIVE includes solar-powered lights and a charging station, plenty of storage for emergency supplies and a community bulletin board for you to share what’s buzzing.
What is Social Infrastructure?
What is Social Infrastructure?
Social infrastructure, a term coined by urban sociologist Eric Klinenberg, refers to the soft infrastructure around us that promotes social connection and vibrant civic life. Social infrastructure is understood as a valuable and critical part of any community. It can take the form of public libraries, parks, playgrounds, plazas, or any other place that offers value to the community to gather, share resources, and create connections - including a Neighbour Hub!
Interested in expanding your knowledge?
For those interested in learning more about the evolving conversation on social infrastructure and community resilience, Neighbour Lab members are happy to share our current favourite resources.
Neighbour Hub Process
Neighbour Lab hosts a series of conversations with local residents within a neighbourhood to discuss the current needs of each community. In the engagement process, residents connect to create an asset map, learn about natural hazards specific to their area, develop an emergency preparedness plan, and begin to co-design a shared space that meets the unique needs of their neighbourhood.
Neighbour Lab works collaboratively to design a piece of physical infrastructure that animates the ideas that neighbours brought forward through the engagement phase. The team takes this feedback to design infrastructure that is cohesive with each neighbourhood; reflecting the history, urban design principles, and community stories that are within each space.
Once the creative design process has been completed, then it’s time to build. Neighbour Lab works with local carpenters, metal workers, and suppliers to bring the design to life. Once the Neighbour Hub is installed in its new home, Neighbour Lab hosts a celebration for all to enjoy the new public space designed for community, with community.
This process provides neighbours the opportunity to connect with each other, build relationships, and make emergency preparedness plans. Together, neighbours decide everything about their Neighbour Hub - from the materials to the location. Our Neighbour Lab team then comes together to bring ideas to life - designing a safe place for and with the community.