All posts by Anjuli Solanki

Design for Diversity – Celebrate the Differences

dancing balloons ken

At OpenCity, we have spent the last seven years learning about what motivates diverse people to spend time in a place and connect with others. Design for Diversity is a new way of viewing, planning and designing public space through a lens of inclusion and diversity. Over the coming weeks we will unpack the Design for Diversity manifesto to ease planners and city lovers into the practice. In this post, we address the importance of “celebrating the differences” – the eighth point in our manifesto.  Continue reading

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Design for Diversity – Keep Doors Open

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At OpenCity, we have spent the last seven years learning about what motivates diverse people to spend time in a place and connect with others. Design for Diversity is a new way of viewing, planning and designing public space through a lens of inclusion and diversity. Over the coming weeks we will unpack the Design for Diversity manifesto to ease planners and city lovers into the practice.  Continue reading

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Design for Diversity – Why does it matter?

Chinatown_toronto_spadina_avenue

Turn on the news these days and you are likely to see stories about migration and diversity in cities that often lead to tension rooted in racial and cultural differences. An increasing number of people are migrating for a range of social, economic, political and environmental reasons. It is critical for cities, and those who love and live in them, to find ways to be more welcoming to newcomers, to be more inclusive, and design with diversity in mind. If they don’t, we face spreading intolerance, and potentially, outright xenophobia.

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Kensington Market and intercultural public space

Image 1 Map mural of Kensington Market

Toronto is a city that proudly celebrates its cultural diversity. Do its public spaces encourage cross-cultural interactions?

Kensington Market is a unique urban pocket of Toronto that possesses some of the city’s most dynamic public spaces and commercial quarters; plus, it exemplifies the mixed and hybrid nature of Toronto’s population. Continue reading

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More Than Just a Pretty Fence

Installing the public art.

By Anjuli Solanki

Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park is a densely-populated neighbourhood of apartment towers arranged in a tight horseshoe shape that’s capped by a shopping mall. Inside the horseshoe, sheltered by the towers, is a small but intensely used park connected to the mall by a narrow pathway about 175 metres long. The pathway is almost always full of people laden with shopping but it is lined by unfriendly chain-link fencing, poorly paved, and lit ineffectively. Continue reading

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Market 707: Shipping Containers for Public Spaces

By Anjuli Solanki

Scadding Court Community Centre Market Place, also known as Market 707 is located on Dundas Street West and Bathurst. Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) has a rooted history of creating dynamic and relevant community programming and the Container Market 707 is a permanent and physical example of their social inclusion and community economic development initiatives. Recognizing that the inactive and bleak looking strip that encases the SCCC was a safety concern as well as an area lacking  certain amenities, they took action to rectify this deficiency through the implementation of a container market. Not only has the 707 Market improved the safety through passive ‘policing’ by the retailers and patrons; it has also provided unique and affordable economic opportunities. Continue reading

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