Via, working with Mark Hill from CH2M Hill and artist Cliff Garten, developed the first public art plan for the City of Calgary’s Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) Department.
Completed in 2007, this award-winning plan was the first of its kind to focus specifically on a watershed and its ecological systems as a nexus for commissioning public art.
The plan provides a vision and criteria for identifying sites and opportunities for public art projects and initiatives, as well as an inventory of diverse project opportunities. We facilitated a committee of stakeholders and worked with them to identify criteria for site selection, conducted extensive GIS mapping to identify and illustrate key sites, and conducted an interactive hands-on workshop for more than 60 stakeholders to focus on 9 key sites that had been identified through our work with the committee.
Although most of Calgary’s water infrastructure is buried underground, UEP has used the plan to commission numerous public art projects that collectively raise awareness of and foster stewardship for the care and health of the Bow River watershed. The plan has created a visual and aesthetic legacy highlighting UEP services and infrastructure, as well as Calgarians’ impact upon the Bow River watershed.