22 Jun. 2006|
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Calgarians have been happily stumped by one mystery in particular: a series of small, colourful, handmade benches that have popped up in front of local shops, delighting owners and passersby alike. Inspired by a similar effort in New York City, the project’s goal is to “create space for Calgarians to have a seat and enjoy our city.” It’s working, and not just for those who actually sit.
The Bench Project and the living-room bus stop contain this message of citizen empowerment: Each of us can change our city for the better. So here’s to all of Calgary’s bench crafters, yarn bombers, little free library builders, guerilla bus-stop decorators and other agents of creative urban disruption working diligently, and often anonymously, among us.
There is a sense of intrigue and mystery surrounding their project, which exploded on Facebook and Twitter this week, because they won’t disclose their identities.
The idea is to encourage Calgarians to have a seat and enjoy their surroundings, without having to buy a beer or a coffee to secure a spot on a patio.
The idea behind The Bench Project is also rooted in a broader sense of community in Calgary, including Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s challenge to residents to help make their city better. They started the project, which has cost them roughly $300 so far, on 17th Avenue because it’s a main drag in their backyard, but they hope to expand into other neighbourhoods that are farther out of the downtown.
KeywordsCalgary, People, Canada, Alberta, Observation Point, Urban Skyline, Adult, Adults Only, Architecture, Bench, Building Exterior, Candid, Casual Clothing, Cityscape, Color Image, Couple - Relationship, Day, Downtown District, Dusk, Full Length, Grass, Heterosexual Couple, Hood - Clothing, Horizontal, Illuminated, Looking At View, Outdoors, Photography, Rear View, Romance, Sitting, Sky, Skyscraper, Togetherness, Tranquility, Travel Destinations, Two People, Young Adult, Young Couple, Young Men, Young Women, This image is subject to copyright. Since June, the trio - who wish to remain anonymous - has been creating the benches and placing them in strategic areas where people can stop and rest.