Discover Kitsilano Walking Tour

Kitsilano

Discover Kitsilano Walking Tour

A walking tour showcasing neighborhood resilience to new-comers.

School:

Langara College

Department:

Applied Planning

Course:

APPL 5230

Instructors:

  • Kathryn Nairne

City of Vancouver:

  • Katia Tynan

Student Team:

  • Carolyn Donnelly
  • Daniel Hanhausen
  • Ellen Hayes
  • Eric Kwon
  • Mayra Fraga
  • Rajat Chadwani

Strategy:

  • Healthy City

City goal area:

  • Environments to Thrive In

Term:

Spring 2019

Summary

We developed a walking tour through Kitsilano focus on neighbourhood resilience with a focus on newcomers to the area. Our intention is to help connect people, foster random community interactions, increase social cohesion, and instill a sense of pride and knowledge of residents’ surroundings.

An integral component of social planning is understanding the people and communities that surround us, while engaging with others to create a more complete community. Our project brief was to develop a neighborhood walk that reflects these principles with a specific focus on resilience. In Vancouver neighbourhoods resilience embodies surviving, adapting and thriving in the face of challenges. It’s the ability to bounce back in a hard situation. In a city, different places can be resilient in different ways. Some show environmental resilience, while others show economic or social resilience. We focused on the beautiful neighbourhood of Kitsilano, where to advertised and hosted our walking tour.

We aimed to have participants discover their neighbourhood, or view it in a different way. We connected with the local Neighbourhood House, who helped to provide various translations of the walk, and we advertised widely through social media, Eventbrite event, and in other locations around the city. This attracted many people of different walks of life to participate in our tour. We learned some ways of connecting with newcomers that we were previously unaware of and in particular, learned much about the role the Neighbourhood House has in new immigrants’ lives. We learned the steps to executing a large walking tour of an area and much about Kitsilano’s resilience, history and sustainability in the process. The experience of organizing and leading this neighborhood walk was a beneficial learning process, through engaging with a community and understanding how to advertise and attract people to a public event.

Understanding the history of the neighborhood was vital, as it influences the current landscape of the community. This experience helped us realize the strength built over time within communities and how it plays a vital role in creating a unique character and identity.