2018 was an exciting year for Happy City St. John’s, and we wanted to share a year-in-review with you. Thank you to all our partners, volunteers, participants, and followers for helping to make 2018 one of our best years yet!
Here are some of our highlights from 2018:
Happy City Maps
In March 2018, our Built Environment team launched the Community Mapping Initiative. Our first project was a map of public spaces in St. John’s. This is an open mapping initiative crowdsourcing public spaces where you can sit, study, work, hang out, or generally loiter for $5 or less. Have a look, and add your favourite public space in St. John’s!
Do you have ideas for other mapping projects in St. John’s? Let us know!
Jane’s Walks 2018
This was our fifth year coordinating Jane’s Walks in St. Johns, and it was our biggest year yet! In early May, there were 7 Jane’s Walks including a Jane’s Pub Crawl and a Jane’s Run. We had incredible partners organize these walks through both their own neighbourhoods and underappreciated or lesser-known areas of St John’s.
Is there a walk you’d like to lead in St. John’s next year? Get in touch!
Smart Cities Challenge & Mobility Survey
2018 was also a big year for expansion of our partnerships in St. John’s. In April, we partnered with the City of St. John’s and Memorial University’s Dr. Daniel Fuller to coordinate the St. John’s entry in the Smart Cities Challenge. We focused on the intersection of mobility and health in the city, and many community members and organizations took part. While our bid was unsuccessful, the conversation around how to improve movement and health in St. John’s continues.
Through this initiative, we surveyed more than 1000 residents on how they navigate the city, how their mobility needs are being met, and whether they would like to see smart technologies integrated into St. John’s mobility strategies. The full report and results are available here.
In September, the City of St. John’s and Happy City partnered to host the first cycling festival in St. John’s, BikeFest 2018. The one-day open street festival was held on Water Street and brought together businesses, government, non-profits, cycling enthusiasts, and people who had never been on a bicycle. We hope to work with the City of St. John’s to make this an annual event.
This year, we partnered with Dr. Daniel Fuller and Memorial University to host our inaugural Neighbourhood Summit, a day-long conference-style event where over 60 participants came together for presentations, panels, and workshops on how to improve neighbourhoods in St. John’s. As part of the event there was a Bike Network Jam to help the city’s planners know where cyclists would like to ride. We have received feedback on the event, and plan to improve upon this year’s successes to make the 2019 Summit even better.
Happy City Radio and City Talk in The Overcast
In February we started our City Talk column in The Overcast which has provided an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of important issues in the city. We followed this up in September, with a partnership with CHMR 93.5, the campus radio station for Memorial University, producing Happy City Radio, a radio show and podcast to inform and encourage conversations about municipal issues in the City of St. John’s.
Living In Community
This year was the first full year the Living in Community Steering Committee was in operation, and it was characterized by a lot of learning and growing. The committee – based on the Vancouver model of the same name – started a dialogue with residents of the neighbourhood where most street-based sex work is taking place in St. John’s. Happy City acts as a facilitator for the Living in Community project.
The Living in Community project has already led to improvements to the safety of the community, including the addition of more street lighting, along with the introduction of sharps containers in the area. Outside of dedicated open conversation space with residents, the committee hosted an information session with Eastern Health and the RNC about how they are working in the area and what “safety” means for their policies and practices.
Through strong community partnerships like these, the committee continues to solidify its membership to best respond to the concerns of all citizens. In the latter half of the year, the committee completed a strategic planning process with the goal of implementing that plan in 2019. To learn more about this project, listen to the Happy City Radio episode on the Living in Community initiative, or contact Mica at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for working with us throughout 2018 to make our community better! We are very excited for the new projects we will be launching in 2019 – stay tuned!
Do you have ideas for projects you’d like us to undertake? Please reach out by emailing email@example.com or message us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!