The Downtown Association Board of Directors would like to thank and congratulate the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s approval of the development of a “peopleplace” in the heart of Sault Ste. Marie’s Downtown core.
In 2019 a joint effort was made in 2018 by the Corp. of the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Downtown Association, championed by the Chamber of Commerce to bring Destination Development’s Roger Brooks to Sault Ste. Marie to assess the Downtown and surrounding area. One of Brooks’ key recommendations was to build a public plaza space within the downtown core that would be active 250 days of the year regardless of weather conditions.
To learn more about the Destination Development Associations strong endorsement of public spaces please visit: Roger Brooks Power of Public Plaza Teaser
This space will be used for creating a new avenue for the community in the urban core, a vibrant, multi-use civic location that will bridge downtown Queen Street with Sault Ste. Marie’s first-class waterfront, a major priority of both the Downtown Association and the Downtown Development Team within the framework of FutureSSM.
We look forward to an enhancement of our city and seek patience in the augmentation that will occur within our Downtown core. The Chair, Board of Directors and Staff all believe this project will further the Association’s vision to aid in the creation of a dynamic community that is vibrant, healthy and a prosperous destination where people want to be and want to invest.
About the Downtown Association: Our Business Improvement Area is an organization that allows Queen St E (from Pim to Dennis) business people and commercial property owners and tenants join together and, with support of the City of Sault Ste Marie, organize, finance, and carry out physical improvements and promote economic development in our district.
WHAT IS & WHY ARE PLAZA’S AMAZING
1. Public spaces are transcendent. They bring people together that normally would not sit next each other to or spend time with one another. Great public spaces attract people of completely different walks of life.
2. Public spaces give people a forum for self expression. In Portland, people will write on the sidewalk or paint a message on it to express something. Some people also just set up and play music on the sidewalk or preach or make art.
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3. Public spaces are accessible. They are amenities that are available to everyone, regardless of age, income, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, class, physical ability or any other thing you can think of. If you are a living being, you are welcome to a public space.
4. Public spaces are where great social change can take place.They are where protests and public organization take place, whether they are street marches or public square protests. Public spaces are where social capital is built.
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5. Public spaces build community. Free programming that happens in public spaces, like movie screenings, festivals, shows, fairs, performances, and sports activate the city and bring people together in a way that builds community.
Even in an age of social media and online forums, public spaces are still critical spaces for community building, empowerment, social change making and allowing people to be themselves in front of other people. And in world where place is property, public spaces are a precious part of our cities where place is not profitized, life is not choreographed by developers, and people aren’t manipulated into making purchases or somehow spending money. Public spaces are usually owned by a municipality, are public in perpetuity and aren’t simply developed into private property when the economy becomes promising, although this is not always the case and cities often sell public land to private developers.
Public spaces are the heartbeat of a city. Without a vibrant network of public spaces, a city becomes too privatized, too sterile, too predictable, too stilted and lifeless. It’s essential to foster, create, preserve and maintain our public spaces and keep them truly public, without over policing them or over regulating them.