Woodward’s Hosts Public Square Project
The Woodward’s atrium hosted a crowd of about 200 people yesterday for the launch of the Simon Fraser University Public Square. It’s an initiative designed to foster spaces—not just one literal square but a host of different venues across the university’s three campuses as well as virtual spaces—where people can engage and connect with each other in meaningful ways.
Vancouver is often lauded for its livability, but it seems that residents are feeling an increasing sense of isolation and disconnection. A new study by the Vancouver Foundation reveals that many people find it hard to make friends here and that people are “retreating from community life.”
In an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun, President and Vice-Chancellor of SFU Andrew Petter and Chancellor Carole Taylor write that the project aims to create safe and neutral zones where “we may honour the BC tradition for outspokenness—for frankness and vigor in debate—while still providing a supportive environment in which everyone can feel welcome to engage on issues ranging from the economy to the environment, from culture to politics.”
The project is hosting a series of events and talks, including City Conversations and the Philosopher’s Café. The first community summit Alone Together: Connecting in the Urban Environment runs from September 18–23, 2012.
[Top Image: SFU Public Square launch in the Woodward's atrium. Photo by Gordon Price.]