Young visionaries paint urban core

Young urban residents of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) will share their vision of the kind of community they want to live in.  One hundred and five students from Saint Mary’s Elementary school, aged primary to grade 6, will take part in a painting workshop hosted by Southwest Properties this Friday.  Urban Visionaires

On the final school day prior to March Break, students of the Morris Street school were asked to express their vision of Halifax’s future downtown lifestyle.  The end result  was several large-scale, painted plywood murals that will be installed as public art and hoarding boards around Southwest’s construction site at the corner of Sackville and Hollis.

Urban planners, politicians, interests groups and developers, such as Southwest Properties, have been hosting public engagement events in the city recently.  The events encourage open dialogue to capture ideas on the public’s vision of a more enjoyable downtown core. “Our company truly believes in this collaborative planning process,” said Gordon Laing, President and COO of Southwest Properties. “Engaging citizens provides valuable insight into the desired living locations, amenities and services – all key in helping us plan future living spaces and a vibrant city.”

Laing said the idea of including a younger audience in the company’s community engagement process was suggested by Morgan Allaway, Director of Project Management. “We thought it was an excellent idea to provide the future generation an opportunity to express their vision of living, working and playing in the urban core.”

Saint Mary’s Elementary School principal, Sandra Chauvin said that the murals are much more than just a painting project for the students. “This project is just one of many ways Saint Mary’s students are learning about community and what it means to be a contributing member. Students are working together to create their visions for the city on the plywood and are excited at the prospect of their artwork beautifying the construction site. It is wonderful to have such an opportunity.”

In many larger cities it is popular for developers to partner with community groups and local artists to showcase their work around construction sites.

The murals will be installed for public display at the corner of Hollis and Sackville.

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