We bring communities together to create social infrastructure.

Our co-creative design process enables groups to collaboratively work towards a shared vision to activate public space in their neighbourhood.

Placemaking
In Progress!

Join us on September 10 from 1 - 3 at  Kings Rd and Graham St to help shape the Neighbour Hub coming to the Hillside - Quadra neighbourhood!

Neighbour Hubs create vibrant public spaces that foster community connection and provide emergency resources for neighbourhoods in Victoria. City of Victoria, working alongside Building Resilient Neighbourhoods (BRN) and Neighbour Lab (NL), is supporting a placemaking and resilience initiative which will seek to bring Neighbour Hubs to neighbourhoods across Victoria. Learn more about Neighbour Hubs here

This summer, neighbours voted on the “HIVE” Hub design to be installed along KIngs Rd.

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HIVE

Drawing inspiration from the symmetry of a beehive, the HIVE will be buzzing with opportunities to connect with your neighbours. The HIVE offers varying seating options – from individual seating with comfortable side tables to large group seating for afternoon picnics. Stay rain or shine with an arched-shaped roof. Surrounded by four hive-shaped planter boxes, you’ll feel amidst the pollinators! HIVE includes solar-powered lights and a charging station, plenty of storage for emergency supplies and a community bulletin board for you to share what’s buzzing.”

 

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Help shape the Kings Rd Neighbour Hub!

Stop by the Open House to learn more about Neighbour Hubs, how they contribute to emergency preparedness, and what neighbours can do to help build community resilience.  

 

Neighbours will also be invited to provide input on the following features: 

 

  • Hub size - small, medium, or large

  • Hub candidates - there are five options on Kings Rd between Cook and Blanshard

  • Terms of Use

  • Community activation projects- features you would like to be involved in adding to the Hub to make it a vibrant community space for immediate neighbours

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What is Social Infrastructure?

What is Social Infrastructure?

Social infrastructure, a term coined by urban sociologist Eric Klinenberg, refers to the soft infrastructure around us that promotes social connection and vibrant civic life. Social infrastructure is understood as a valuable and critical part of any community. It can take the form of public libraries, parks, playgrounds, plazas, or any other place that offers value to the community to gather, share resources, and create connections - including a Neighbour Hub!

Interested in expanding your knowledge?

For those interested in learning more about the evolving conversation on social infrastructure and community resilience, Neighbour Lab members are happy to share our current favourite resources.

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Books:

  • Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, by Eric Klinenberg

  • Happy City: Transforming our Lives Through Urban Design, by Chargles Montgomery

 

Other resources:

1. Engage

1. Engage

1. Engage

Neighbour Hub Process

Neighbour Lab hosts a series of conversations with local residents within a neighbourhood to discuss the current needs of each community. In the engagement process, residents connect to create an asset map, learn about natural hazards specific to their area, develop an emergency preparedness plan, and begin to co-design a shared space that meets the unique needs of their neighbourhood. 

2. Design

Neighbour Lab works collaboratively to design a piece of physical infrastructure that animates the ideas that neighbours brought forward through the engagement phase. The team takes this feedback to design infrastructure that is cohesive with each neighbourhood; reflecting the history, urban design principles, and community stories that are within each space.

3. Build

Once the creative design process has been completed, then it’s time to build. Neighbour Lab works with local carpenters, metal workers, and suppliers to bring the design to life. Once the Neighbour Hub is installed in its new home, Neighbour Lab hosts a celebration for all to enjoy the new public space designed for community, with community. 

This process provides neighbours the opportunity to connect with each other, build relationships, and make emergency preparedness plans. Together, neighbours decide everything about their Neighbour Hub - from the materials to the location. Our Neighbour Lab team then comes together to bring ideas to life - designing a safe place for and with the community. 

Check out some of our Previous Neighbour Hubs

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Through public dialogue around emergency preparedness, neighbourhood asset mapping, and collaborative design principles; we work to co-create spaces that are unique and best suited to each community.