Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting the City involved - carefully

One of our goals with dog parc gallery is to get word out that Parc Gallery is an important community amenity that must be protected for the future. As our publication explains in more detail, the City's planning documents suggest that this park is not a park - it is empty space. So we have to get officials to recognize that it is indeed a green, public space. This week, pouf! is sending out copies of our publication to councillors such as Alan DeSousa, Vice-Chairman of Sustainable Development, the Environment, Parks and Green Spaces, and Helen Fotopulos, Responsable for Culture, Heritage, Design and Women's Issues, among others. We are targeting members of the City of Montréal Executive Council, which deals directly with urban planning and development issues.

What we have to be careful about, however, is the tendency of politicians to resort to the spatial needs of families over other types of city dwellers. A green space in the middle of a rapidly developing neighbourhood might well appeal to politicians as something to save - but for whom? The Percy Walters Park controversy - see Edith Dora Rey's beautiful website - saw a much loved downtown dog run transformed into a bifurcated space for children and dogs - a change which pleased the adults of neither user group. This cannot happen at Parc Gallery. So be sure to tell your borough Councillor and local MP that not only do you want Parc Gallery saved, you want it saved for dogs!

Edith Dora Rey, Percy Walters Parkhouse, watercolour, 2009

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