Tag Archives: municipal governments

Fourth workshop at F.A.C.E!

18 Jan

Just as municipal governments and other local decision making bodies should take into consideration the needs and recommendations of ALL different users of public space, it is important for all citizens to be sensitive to other Montrealers’ experience of the city.

On January 25th 2012, the group of teenage girls from F.A.C.E high school participating in My City, My Safety! prepped for an upcoming activity during which they will meet with Montrealers belonging to a group of citizens that are traditionally excluded from public space (to be continued in February!).

To get into the groove, we played a little game: each girl snapped and printed a picture representing herself. Then, individually, the girls wrote on a piece of paper a memorable thing she had experienced that her other friends would be unaware of. In turn, every girl picked a paper belonging to one of her friends and stuck it under the picture of the person she believed the experience belonged to.

Even though the girls thought they knew each other well, few of them actually got the answer right!

Indeed, even if we know someone well, there are always things we don’t know and cannot guess, life stories that belong to that person only. If this is the case for their fellow students, friends that they see everyday, then it must ring even more true for perfect strangers! This brings us to the importance of understanding that a person’s life experience and perceptions belong to that person only, and the importance not to pass judgement. This was an important lesson for the girls, but would be too for anybody who might one day have to make decisions that would influence the daily life of the population.

We finished the workshop by identifying the location for the next safety audit walk: the girls indicated places where they feel unsafe or unwelcome in Down-town Montreal with the help of stickers on a map. The final route was chosen in accordance: in February, we’ll conduct a safety audit walk on Saint-Catherine street, starting at the corner of Papineau, going all the way to Saint-Denis.