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From public art to parking, 8 ideas to spruce up Sparks Street

CBC News
January 15, 2018

The City of Ottawa is asking people for ideas on how Sparks Street can be better for people and businesses as it works on a comprehensive plan to revitalize the pedestrian mall.

Here’s what some of the people who attended a town hall Saturday had to say.

Their comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Michele Menard-Foster, lives and works in Ottawa

I want to share some personal experiences visiting Detroit and a lot of their rejuvenated public space — and how inspiring it was.

I was there as a tourist but felt very much the spaces were adapted for the residents. That would be my vision for Sparks Street.

[In one main square, Detroit]

had public beaches. You saw people in their business clothes with their feet in the sand at lunchtime. It was surrounded by a lot of delis and restaurants as well — but also people, daycares, children.

The full community experience was there, as well as tourists.

In the presentations, sometimes I heard the focus would be on tourism, then residents. I would love to see this initiative be residents [first]. If it’s that fantastic, tourists will equally benefit.

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