Mapping Assets: You, Your Community and Your Neighbourhood

Submitted by Christie Nash on January 21, 2016 - 5:07am
The Peterborough, ON Local Deepening Community Initiative

If the purpose of the Local Deepening Community Initiative is to build engagement and strong connections between residents, then our Peterborough, Ontario project is already a success- despite it only being in the incubation phase.

Launched in late August of 2015, a strong leadership team of ten residents have been working closely together to create a unique capacity-building project that is designed to engage community members through conversations to both identify and map assets in our neighbourhoods and also dream about what our community might look like in our future and envision what role each person might play in creating that vision.

The project is call “Mapping Assets: You, Your Community and Your Neighbourhood” and the goal of the project is to help to build a movement in the region of Peterborough, ON that recognizes and mobilizes the people, relationships and assets that make the area a great place to live.

This group of active community members are hoping to create new and stronger connections that lead to new possibilities and have set out to answer these three key questions:

  • What creates a thriving, inclusive, healthy, and vibrant community?
  •  How do we make our neighbourhoods safe and nurture a sense of belonging?
  • How do we engage in collaborative, combined efforts with strong resident leadership?

Poised to launch the first training session next week with 25 other residents,  this group, in partnership with the Tamarack Institute, has developed a robust conversation guide manual that will be shared over two three-hour workshop sessions. The key elements of the sessions are to provide tools and resources for hosting conversations; a comprehensive overview of Asset-Based Mapping; time and space to brainstorm creative ideas for collecting data, and; an opportunity to get to know other engaged community members and share your skills.

The goals of this training are:

1.       To provide the knowledge and resources necessary for residents to be confident to host conversations and devise ABCD mapping exercises. 
2.       This project is an attempt to create asset maps of the Peterborough community from the resident’s perspective through social mapping as opposed to traditional mapping of infrastructure, institutions, and organizations. 
The hope for the people who engage in the training will participate in the project in the following ways:
  • Team up with at least one other person to create a team
  • Co-host and document a minimum of 2-3 conversations with a minimum of five people each
  • Determine venue and logistics for the conversations (house, community space, organization, school, senior’s home, etc.)
  • Work with contact person within Core group to make sure you have all of the resources and materials you need
  • Ensure notes are well taken during the conversation, type them up and forward along to community support liaison
  • Meet as needed with the larger group to share your experiences and troubleshoot challengesDocument and share your own experience with the project

Ideally, all of the information will be gathered from these conversations and synthesized into a final report and celebrated throughout the community. Although the potential for community-led projects might emerge from this process are important, they are secondary to the goal of the project which is to connect people to each other and their community assets and ideally reflect on what role the resident can play in making communities and neighbourhoods vibrant places to live, work and play in.

Stay tuned for more updates on the conversations.

Learn more about the Mapping Assets: You, Your Community and Your Neighbourhood project in Peterborough, ON:

Synergy and Serendipity: The Peterborough Neighbourhood Story

For Hope When Hope is desperately needed

Active Neighbourhoods

Building A Neighbourhood Strategy in Peterborough, Ontario