Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup

Are you an urbanist? Do you spend time dreaming of all the ways that Winnipeg could transform itself into a more vibrant, sustainable and open city?

Are you inspired by the creative and innovative approaches to city building that happen in other cities and want to be apart of building a movement here in Winnipeg?

The Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup is a monthly gathering of civic-minded individuals who come together to share ideas and collaborate on new initiatives that inspire positive urban change. We are building a community of creative citizens who want to re-imagine Winnipeg and you are invited!


Past meetups

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[toggle title=’Urban Wayfinding Talk + Walk’]

Have you ever navigated an unfamiliar place such as a foreign city, airport terminal or mall? Chances are, wayfinding helped you get around. Wayfinding includes maps and signs, symbols and icons, landmarks and other design elements that help people find their way.

On Saturday September 20th the Edmonton Wayfinding Project was in town for the Winnipeg Design Festival to lead a public talk and walk looking at wayfinding in our downtown.


The Edmonton Wayfinding Project (EWP) is a citizen-led design action group that is working to improve pedestrian wayfinding culture and infrastructure in Edmonton. Now in it’s second year, the project has organized a number of exhibitions and public events to engage Edmontonians in a broad conversation about the importance of good pedestrian wayfinding in the urban core. Working in partnership with the City of Edmonton, the EWS helped develop and launch a wayfinding prototype inspired by the Legible London system. This summer the EWS is undertaking a research project looking at how people use (and get lost in) Edmonton’s pedway system with the aim to contribute valuable user experience research to the City’s ongoing wayfinding strategy.
This engaging workshop will take to the streets with a walk looking at past and present wayfinding infrastructure in Winnipeg, and invite
conversation about future wayfinding trends and issues.



The workshop began with a presentation from the Edmonton Wayfinding Project sharing their story of working with the City of Edmonton on pedestrian wayfinding research, design and advocacy over the last year.

The walk (centred around Graham and Portage Avenue) was punctuated with stops along the route highlighting past and present wayfinding infrastructure in Winnipeg and inviting dialogue about future wayfinding trends and issues. Guest contributors included Diane Roussin, executive director of Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre; Constantina Douvris from HTFC Planning & Design; Sussanne Dewey-Povoledo, Planner with the City of Winnipeg; Harry Finnigan, consultant and former head of Planning at the City of WInnipeg; Tom Janzen from CentreVenture; Blair Helgason, principal of Guppy Design; Mascilline Hama from Transit Winnipeg; Tricia Wasney, manager of the Public Art program at the Winnipeg Arts Council.




Photos by @wayfindYEG


[toggle title=’Rethinking Libraries for the 21st Century’]

The Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup is going to the library! We’re partnering with the Winnipeg Public Library as part of their Inspiring Ideas forum to imagine new models for libraries in the 21st century!


Libraries around the world are innovating their services and programs: from small-business incubators, tool lending programs, 3D printers, maker-spaces, new media labs and so much more! Libraries have never been more important as civic and cultural centres in cities than today. 

Join us on Thursday June 26th at the the Millennium Library (5-8pm) where we will hear about these new innovations and help the Winnipeg Public Library innovate for the future!

Our meetup discussions and activities will centre around the following four areas:

1. Collections: What collections and resources are important to you?
2. Programs: How can library programs meet community needs?
3. Space and Services: How can space and services be reinvented to meet community needs?
4. Community and Social Opportunities: What role can the library play in creating opportunities for all Winnipeggers?


We will also be joined by Monica Giesbrecht, a landscape architect with HTFC Planning and Design who will give a tour and talk about the redesigned Millennium Library plaza. Tricia Wasney, Manager of Public Art at the Winnipeg Arts Council will talk about the public art work in the park, emptyful by Bill Pechet and Sentinel of Truth by Darren Stebeleski.

* We will be meeting on the second floor of the Millennium Library, off to the (west) side where all the reading chairs and tables are located. *

Join our Facebook page at

Banner photo by Trevor. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


[toggle title=’Creative Placemaking Design Jam’]

Do you have an idea for a creative installation or activity that could transform the underused and unique alleys and dray ways (service alleys) in the West Exchange District? 

Join us on Friday May 30th at the 3rd Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup for a DESIGN JAM where we will brainstorm, design, sketch, model and develop ideas to submit to the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Creative Placemaking Challenge.

About the Creative Placemaking Challenge

The Winnipeg Arts Council and Urban Idea are inviting the public to design temporary installations and creative activities to animate the alleys of the West Exchange this summer! They have announced a Creative Placemaking Challenge and are inviting YOU to submit proposals for the chance to win up to $1500 to implement your creative project. As many as 10 projects could be selected and all projects will be installed/executed for one day on August 15, 2014.

What is a Design Jam?

Similar to developer hack days, Design Jams bring together people from different disciplines for an intensive afternoon of ideation and creative problem solving.


It all starts with a challenge—a compelling issue to be tackled. Everyone in the room brings their unique skills and diverse perspectives together into teams to generate innovative and practical solutions to the challenge.

In a few short hours, participants work through a creative process that starts with brainstorming, moves through concept development, prototyping (sketching, model making, etc.) and concludes with the presentation of final ideas and solutions. 

Design Jam Schedule

5:15pm     Welcome + Introduction
5:30pm     Site visit to the alleys and dray ways
6:00pm     Brainstorming
6:45pm     Idea Pitch + Group formation
7:15pm     Concept development
8:00pm     Prototyping (sketching, modelling)
8:45pm     Team presentations  

We’ll have an assortment of essential art materials, but if you have art supplies that you can’t live without (markers, pencils, notebooks, etc), please bring them. Laptops are encouraged and there will be WiFi. 

This Design Jam is independently organized by the Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup and is not an official event of the Winnipeg Arts Council or Urban Idea.

All ideas and concepts generated at the Design Jam belong to the participants. It’s up to you and the people you collaborate with at the workshop to decide what happens after the Jam and if you want to submit your proposal the Winnipeg Arts Council’s placemaking challenge.

Everyone is Welcome to Attend! 

The Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup Design Jam is for anyone with an interest in the creative process, art and design, and collaborating with other creative and civic minded folks to generate new ideas. Expertise or design skills are not required, but an interest in creating positive urban change is!  

The Design Jam is FREE and OPEN to the public, anyone is welcome to participate. RSVP is requested, but not required. Email Matt Carreau at

* Banner photo by Steven McCullough

* First photo in post by Trevor Dykstra. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


[toggle title=’Pedestrian Friendly Urban Design’]

On Friday April 25th, join us once again for the 2nd edition of the monthly Winnipeg Urbanist Meetup. This time around we are partnering with Jane’s Walk for conversation about pedestrian friendly urban design, mobility and accessibility issues in Winnipeg.


Join us on Friday April 25th at La Maison des artstes (219 Provencher) from 5-8pm to hear three exceptional local community leaders share their insights and stories about making Winnipeg a more accessible city.

Presenters will include Jomar Manzano, co-chair of the Downtown Community Residents Association and a civil engineer in training with a passion for transit and universal urban design will be presenting a pecha-kucha style talk. Andre Clement, owner of Cafe Postal, will be talking about efforts to reclaim Provencher as a vital boulevard with a focus on pedestrians, and Karina Cardona will present findings from her research into the construction and experience of impaired mobility in Winnipeg, offering lessons that can be applied to address multiple forms of systemic oppression.

Join our Facebook event and like our page.

* Banner photo by Steve McCullough 
Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 2.0)