Which location in downtown Nanaimo makes you feel most connected to your community?
That’s a question a team of Vancouver Island University masters and undergraduate student researchers are asking members of the public as part of a community mapping project called ‘Where is Here?’
From now until July 8, Nanaimo residents are invited to take a video of themselves talking about the spots in downtown they feel most connected to and why. The answers they receive will be incorporated into an interactive community map that reflects what moves people about the downtown core of the community they call home.
“We know that small cities are struggling to survive in a changing economic landscape,” said project coordinator and Simon Fraser University doctoral student, Sharon Karsten. “We know that downtown areas in these cities are ‘beacons’ of civic identity and they can offer opportunities for economic, social and cultural development. We want to know what people love about their downtowns, and what keeps them there.”
The invitation marks Phase 2 of the cultural mapping process. In March and April the team hosted day-long video-mapping sessions with residents from all three communities, resulting in the creation of over 80 connect-spot videos.
Phase 2 enables residents to make and upload their own videos – adding new insights to the conversation. Anyone from Nanaimo interested in contributing can go to www.whereishereculturalmapping.com, which includes directions on how to make and upload videos.