Posted on 10/01/2010, 7:53 am, by mySteinbach

Thus far in the campaign, Steinbach City Council candidate Lee Fehler says that he has received some questions and interest on his issue of placemaking in the community. Fehler elaborates on those issues here saying that “when we are talking about placemaking initially, we are talking about creating public spaces like squares, plazas, markets, or parks that are both unique and interesting and by being so they will attract people.”

Fehler adds that when designing successful public places they must be accessible, be comfortable, have a visually pleasing image, be useful in regards to many activities, and thus promote sociability within the community. Fehler says that “too often when developers and city planners are concerned with new projects downtown they are concerned with automobiles and how to accommodate them in parking lots. While this is important, buildings with large parking lots convey an image that these areas are for automobiles and not people. This process adds to making areas less attractive to people, can make areas less safe, increases the stress and impact on roads, and reduces the economic benefits in comparison to areas that were planned with human elements in mind.”

He also says that when discussing placemaking this does not refer to just public spaces like squares and plazas as mentioned but also applies to the entire downtown, entire neighbourhoods, sidewalks, and other community related areas. Fehler says that “even doing things like promoting tree planting and the urban forest in Steinbach, focusing on street oriented design, beautifying sidewalk areas, and promoting livable, walkable, developments helps in promoting the attractiveness of the entire ‘place’ of Steinbach.”
Fehler adds that “if elected I will help promote the idea of public spaces and help to guide a strong, vibrant, and diverse central business district. If we neglect our downtown we neglect our city. It is important we do everything we can to promote our downtown as an attractive place to do business and as an attractive place to relax and meet our neighbours as well. Placemaking can be done through public and private partnership with investment of a short period of time or incrementally over an extended period of 10 to 20 years or more. This is why I am advocating for the creation of a public square, plaza, or market in the downtown area as part of my campaign.”