My City's Still Breathing

What is culture, and can we plan for it?

What is culture, and can we plan for it?

Cultural planning requires thinking carefully about what makes a place unique, and what it is that an environment needs to enhance and support the flourishing of people.  Great places do not happen by accident, rather they are the outcome of a concerted effort to support and enhance an overall vision through policies, strategies, actions, and sometimes – sheer will.  Winnipeg has been shaped by its deep commitment to arts and culture, as exemplified by the ongoing work of the Winnipeg Arts Council and its original Cultural Plan (written over 10 years ago and now fully implemented).  

In the context of Our Winnipeg – an important visioning exercise designed to establish priorities for planning and designing the City of Winnipeg for the future – the notion of Winnipeg as a City of the Arts has recently been further embraced.  

Today, as a key Cultural Capitals project and legacy, the Winnipeg Arts Council is thinking carefully about cultural priorities, strengths and weaknesses of the cultural sector, and ways to enhance culture in the City. These ideas for enhancing cultural vibrancy will be compiled in a comprehensive strategy as the new Cultural Plan for the City. This is really a What Next session, a Where to Go From Here.  Enjoy distinguished conference panellists as they pontificate on key conference themes and extrapolate on opportunities that ought to be a part of the Winnipeg Cultural Plan.

Jennifer Keesmaat presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Jennifer Keesmaat Dialog
Toronto, Canada
What is culture, and can we plan for it? Biography
Abstract

Jennifer Keesmaat

Jennifer Keesmaat, MES, MCIP, RPP is a founding partner of Office for Urbanism, and more recently, Dialog.  As an urban planner with a distinct interest in the political processes that shape cities, communities and places, Jennifer’s planning approach recognizes the strategic importance of consensus building to successful plan implementation. Jennifer manages complex and multidisciplinary projects, including large scale master planning, urban design, site planning, campus master planning, cultural planning, and policy development processes. All of her work is characterized by a commitment to the integration of a broad range of disciplines, and recently she has won CIP National Planning Awards of Excellence for The Halifax Regional Center Study; The Lethbridge Downtown Plan; The City of Iqaluit Core Area Redevelopment Plan; The North Central Legacy Study, and the Belleville Downtown Plan.  She continues to work on seminal master planning projects from coast to coast in Canada, and is particularly concerned with the intersection of design and planning as a means to creating beauty in urban environments. Jennifer recently published a chapter in Greg Baeker’s new book, Rediscovering the Wealth of Places, titled “Towards Cultural Urbanism.”  Here, she explores the relationship between cultural and place making, and advocates for the integration of cultural planning into municipal planning processes. Jennifer is currently working on culture plans for the Cities of Saskatoon, Peterborough and Winnipeg.

What is culture, and can we plan for it?

Cultural planning requires thinking carefully about what makes a place unique, and what it is that an environment needs to enhance and support the flourishing of people.  Great places do not happen by accident, rather they are the outcome of a concerted effort to support and enhance an overall vision through policies, strategies, actions, and sometimes – sheer will.  Winnipeg has been shaped by its deep commitment to arts and culture, as exemplified by the ongoing work of the Winnipeg Arts Council and its original Cultural Plan (written over 10 years ago and now fully implemented).  

In the context of Our Winnipeg – an important visioning exercise designed to establish priorities for planning and designing the City of Winnipeg for the future – the notion of Winnipeg as a City of the Arts has recently been further embraced.  

Today, as a key Cultural Capitals project and legacy, the Winnipeg Arts Council is thinking carefully about cultural priorities, strengths and weaknesses of the cultural sector, and ways to enhance culture in the City. These ideas for enhancing cultural vibrancy will be compiled in a comprehensive strategy as the new Cultural Plan for the City. This is really a What Next session, a Where to Go From Here.  Enjoy distinguished conference panellists as they pontificate on key conference themes and extrapolate on opportunities that ought to be a part of the Winnipeg Cultural Plan.

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