Residents paint street with pride, love
It may be the final frontier in Star Trek TV episodes and movies, but in a Halifax neighbourhood Saturday it was considerably more comprehensible.
That’s because a community placemaking event involving residents and others was as tangible as the territory people were enhancing.
The day-long pilot project meshed with a block party and a 50th anniversary celebration marked by staff and tenants at the Northwood Centre, a nearby seniors residence.
But the focus of attention for many folks was the flat, outdoor space — the intersection at the corner of Black Street and Northwood Terrace — being painted with vivid colours and references to people, pets and nature.
Volunteers were taking turns carefully painting the circular design, a multi-image display that could last perhaps a year before fading away.
The placemaking project was carried out with the help of Halifax Regional Municipality. Kate MacLennan, the city’s community arts facilitator, said the design was painted after gathering public input and with street use in mind.
The closest portion of the painted road is at least one metre from the curb so that any motorcycles or bicycles going through there “always had a space of no paint to travel on,” she said.
MacLennan said the illustration includes four sails and a compass theme. There are no references to winter.
She said public consultation showed there was a keen interest in depicting nature but not seasons.
According to urban planners and neighbourhood gurus, placemaking is an effort to beautify a community and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. It seeks to enrich the experience of neighbours and folks working in an area by upgrading the local streetscape and strengthening their sense of place.
The weekend event attracted dozens of adults and children to leafy streets on a breezy summer’s day. There were food vendors, games for kids, musicians and seniors from the Northwood Centre.