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Workshops Aimed at Making Streets Safer
(Tuesday, July 23/2002)--Halifax Regional Municipality is taking an innovative approach to making streets in its business districts safer and friendlier.
"Safe Street" workshops are being developed as part of the HRM Capital District Society's Safe Streets Initiative. There will be five workshops-- one in each business district-- aimed at not only the traditional business members, but also at people in need, such as the homeless.
The goal of these workshops is to give both business people and those who live on the streets or making their living on the streets an opportunity to see things from each other's perspective. The workshops will give both parties an opportunity to work together by discussing the various factors that sometimes cause crime and victimization.
Carol Macomber, Project Manager of the Capital Cities Task Force, said the workshops are a new approach to gathering information related to crime and it is hoped that the end result will be more effective solutions to prevent street crime.
Dena Pace, Manager for the "Safe Street" workshops, said the project will use the "Open Space" method to create an environment to encourage innovation, problem solving and teamwork.
Ms. Pace said "This will be achieved by opening the floor to those present and inviting them to write down the issues that are important to them. Those issues will then be discussed in smaller groups, before being brought to the larger group for more in-depth discussion and resolution. Everyone will have a chance to participate and to have their concerns heard."
The workshops are scheduled for mid-September, with exact times and locations to be determined at a later time.
The Capital District includes the business areas of Gottingen Street, downtown Halifax, downtown Dartmouth, Spring Garden Road, and Quinpool Road.
The Capital District will be undertaking a safety audit of those areas in mid-August. It will be conducted by Scott Kenney, of Saint Mary's University. Again, the study will be bringing together residents and the business communities in those areas to discuss safety concerns.
A survey will be developed and the data gathered will be used to create the Capital District Safety Audit, which will identify the dominant themes and types of programs that are needed.
The goal of the Safe Streets Initiative, as a whole, is to make the business communities of the Capital District a safer place for all. This can only be achieved by involving all of the stakeholders in the process.
Project Manager, Capital District
Safe Streets-Workshop Manager