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City Partnership with 8-80 Cities to Transform Paterson Park

September 4, 2012 – Citizens, community leaders, and municipal staff of City of Thunder Bay will come together on Sept. 6, 2012 to participate in a Town Hall Meeting facilitated by 8-80 Cities, a non-profit organization based in Ontario that promotes the idea that public spaces should be welcoming and accessible to people of all ages – from eight to 80 years old.

“Public spaces like parks and streets should be the very best spots in our communities, overflowing with life and vibrancy,” says Gil Penalosa, Executive Director of 8-80 Cities and international park expert. “But many of the public spaces in our cities are poorly designed and under-used. We need to involve the local community in re-creating these spaces. People always have the most fantastic ideas about how a space can be used and improved.”

The Town Hall Meeting is part of the Make a Place for People project which is partly funded by the Ontario Government and will take ideas generated directly from local communities to develop plans for the redesign and programming of public spaces. The ultimate goal of the project is to create parks and public spaces that contribute to healthier and more sustainable communities.

“This is a great project to look at ways to make our public green spaces more user friendly,” said Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay. “We look forward to reviewing the recommendations aimed at generating more interest in the use of the green space at Paterson Park.”

The City of Thunder Bay was one of eight sites selected across the province to participate in the Make a Place for People project. The Town Hall Meeting is the kick-off event for the six-month community-led visioning process for the site.

Anyone with an interest in public space and transforming Paterson Park into a more vibrant and healthier place is encouraged to come out to the Town Hall Meeting at City Hall Council Chambers, 500 Donald St., on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 pm. The Town Hall Meeting will be followed on Saturday, Sept. 8, by an in Park Conversation at Paterson Park from 10 am until 2 pm.

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Contact: Werner Schwar, Coordinator Park Planning, Parks Division, 625-2806