For a city so geographically framed by its waterways, Ottawa often struggles to find meaningful means to engage with its water frontages. This will hopefully change through the National Capital Commission (NCC) initiated open call for proposals for creative ideas to reconnect us to one of our greatest natural resources. The Riverfront Placemaking on the Ottawa River was launched on February 5, 2014, and will be seeking both seasonal and permanent proposals which could be implemented as soon as this summer.
According to the NCC, “As the steward and planner of these lands, the NCC aims to make Canada’s Capital Region and the Ottawa River shorelines vibrant and inspiring to all Canadians. These projects will support this goal by animating open public spaces; connecting key attractions, parks and important sites along recreational pathways; and enhancing the public’s enjoyment of these lands, while respecting the environmental sensitivities that are unique to these iconic shorelines.”
With such dramatic and varied waterfronts and rivers-edges, simply creating a sense of place could be enough to encourage the community to interact with the shoreline. Simple installations such as play equipment, seating, or settings for impromptu performances could work to active and animate these sites, as well as showcase the natural beauty of Ottawa.
If interested in submitting a proposal, the deadline for submissions is 5pm on March 14, 2014. It is also important to note that “Proponents will be solely responsible for all costs related to the preparation, implementation and management of their proposals. Fees related to land use or event permits may apply, depending on the type of proposal. Proponents should be able to implement their proposed projects within the next 12 to 18 months, although the NCC is prepared to see projects implemented as soon as this summer… Proposals must comply with all relevant federal/provincial/municipal laws and regulations.”
In what ways, and through what means, do you think Ottawa’s waterfronts could be better designed or used?