Neighbours in the Victoria West community have come together to envision how public spaces can create community resilience, and build connection in times of crisis.
Through emergency preparedness workshops hosted by Victoria’s Connect and Prepare program which incorporated design processes with local planning and design studio, Neighbour Lab, Victoria West residents generated plans for a shared-emergency supply bench in their neighbourhood.
A year after the engagement sessions, neighbours will be celebrating the newest addition to their block: a neighbourhood bench activating underused public space in this growing community.
May 22 to 24th
Event: ‘Get to Know Your Neighbour Hub; Event
Location: 387 Harbour Rd, Victoria, BC V9A 3S2
See more below!
How to participate
- Snap a selfie at Neighbour Hub 003 on Harbour Rd.
- Post your photo on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #Hub003 and tag @neighbourlab
- Head over to a participating local business to receive special discounts, products and more!
A neighbourhood bench: a community connection
The bench is unique in that it has been co-created with residents to best reflect the vision of that community. The bench design, inspired by the coastal waters of the Vancouver Island region, is equipped with varying and accessible seating and table options, internal storage for emergency supplies, a solar powered charging station, and a community bulletin board that includes local emergency information.
The bench will be located alongside the Galloping Goose trail where folks can rest, re-charge and enjoy a conversation with a fellow neighbour. In the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake or extreme weather event, neighbours can utilize the bench as a meeting spot to share information, charge their cell phones and access emergency supplies.
“In times of crisis, we see how community connections contribute to neighbourhood resilience. By designing shared spaces collaboratively, neighbours can come together in the process and feel pride and ownership of the final product.” says Neighbour Lab’s Creative Director, Emi Webb. “With the threat of a changing climate, earthquakes and future health crises, community mutual aid is vital to strengthening emergency preparedness efforts” Webb says.
The Harbour Road Neighbour Hub is the third community shared infrastructure project developed by Neighbour Lab. The bench will be located on Harbour Road, adjacent to the Galloping Goose trail in the Victoria West Neighbourhood. The project has been made a reality through a collaborative partnership between the Victoria Ready (City of Victoria Emergency Management), Building Resilient Neighbourhood’s, and Neighbour Lab and supported by the Ministry of Transportation and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.
Get to know your Neighbour Hub, May 22 – 24th
In lieu of a community block party to celebrate its completion, these teams are inviting people from communities across the Greater Victoria region to check out the Neighbour Hub while keeping up the spirit of community by supporting local restaurants and businesses.
Bike, walk or roll to ‘Get to know your Neighbour Hub’, a weekender event happening in Victoria this May 22 – 24th, to celebrate the instalment of the Harbour Road Neighbour Hub – a community-led social infrastructure project in Victoria West. Stop by, snap a photo of the Neighbour Hub on Harbour Rd, post it with the #HUB003 and tag @neighbourlab, then head over to participating local businesses to receive special discounts, products and more!
The ‘Get to know your Neighbour Hub’ event will follow strict COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. All participating restaurants and businesses will only offer patio or takeout options. At the Neighbour Hub please remain two metres apart, visit with your household bubble, wear masks and adhere to other health regulations.
For an up to date list of participating businesses and offers please visit www.neighbourlab.com/hub-003-harbour-road.
Neighbour Lab is a transdisciplinary design and planning studio based in Vancouver, BC that builds neighbourhood-level resilience through co-creation and dialogue with communities. Neighbour Lab works with communities to design unique public spaces called Neighbour Hubs and host engagement events that foster emergency preparedness among residents.
Building Resilient Neighbourhoods (BRN) is a non-profit society that helps to create more resilient communities and neighbourhoods across BC. Locally, BRN partners with the City of Victoria’s VictoriaReady program to offer “ Connect and Prepare”, a unique approach to building emergency preparedness and resilience through increasing connections between neighbours.