Neighbour Buddy

Duration: Jan – Apr 2017

Background

Extreme weather is now a fact in our world. It is a global issue, but also affects us in our immediate environments and our neighbourhoods. Toronto has experienced three 100-year storms (2000, 2005, 2012) in a short period. All scientific data points to a continued increase in extreme weather, locally and globally. Cities need to be organized, but citizens need to be informed and have a plan in place to reduce the impact of these events.

The client, Sheila Murray of the volunteer group Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (crew.ca) supports the idea that community preparedness is key in reducing our vulnerability to extreme weather.

In order to help residents understand and prepare for an extreme weather emergency, I decide to create a campaign targeted around the Scarborough and Markham community. Although these neighbourhoods are separated by one street, they are considered to be different cities and are governed by separate municipalities. Residents living on the along Steeles Avenue East experience different transit systems, school boards, and community centres, resulting in the lack of community bond.

Strategy

The campaign promotes Markham households to partner up with Toronto households as each other’s emergency contacts. This buddy system will act as a protection if one of the household encounters their basic service(s) cut off due to an unexpected situation. This becomes even more crucial during winter, where snow and ice storms leave utility poles extremely vulnerable. Sharing resources also help blur the line between the two cities, resulting in a stronger community network.

Demographic research shows that Chinese is the most frequently spoken mother tongue in this area, hence the campaign was created using two different languages.

Brochure

Poster and Postcard

Website (English and Chinese)