“Food is a unifier” – Sherlyne Omangi, Participant
Collaborative Planning to create Grassroots Change
Nestled in the heart of a small community called Abbotsford in British Columbia, Canada, local creators, farmers and an array of entrepreneurs now have a space to showcase their products, facilitate knowledge-transfer and ultimately reach the community with family-friendly entertainment and products.
Through the Global Community Lab, fourty students were taught how to facilitate tactical urbanism by launching the successful Rail District Market. This market project has sustainably bridged the gap from farm to table, artist to collector, and educator to student while providing an equitable, safe space for families and children to flourish.
Creating a Space for Localize Knowledge-Transfer & Food-Security
The goal of the project was to create a low-cost, pop up food market to rally the Abbotsford community and create a platform for conversations about food security, and a space for selling and knowledge-transfer.
Using an old, unused building in downtown, historic Abbotsford as the space for launching the pop-up market, over 25 vendors attended to showcase their knowledge and products, and 400 people from the community arrived to learn more and buy locally.
Building a Sustainable Market
This project has now helped local businesses to recognize the importance of a weekly, local market space in Abbotsford. Since the launch of the pop-up market in 2018, the Rail District Market has occurred weekly to support the networks made between local farmers, artisans, creators, entrepreneurs and the local families that support them.
“It is now clear to me that when you create quick low-cost changes to the built environment, it sure does inspire and improve neighbourhoods and gathering spaces; and the most exciting part was being involved in such an exciting and interactive experience.” – Sherlyne Omangi, Participant
This tangible form of tactical urbanism coordinated by the Global Community Lab has facilitated a sustainable space for knowledge-transfer, networking, local buying and selling, and helped the community recognize the importance of such a needed space for the promotion of food security and local businesses.
“Friendships were made, wisdom was shared and knowledge acquired” – Edith Kemunto, Participant