OpenCity Projects is a creative lab that explores the role of public space in designing more vibrant and inclusive cities. We believe that when diverse people mix and interact in urban environments, it creates more tolerant and peaceful places to live. Our blog covers design best practices in cities around the world with a focus on cultural diversity and integration but also aesthetics, identity, sustainability and more. We are looking for our next editor.
Most urban planners and city leaders agree that diversity is key to creating healthy, inclusive communities but this rarely translates to the day-to-day living experience. We at OpenCity have spent the last seven years learning about what motivates people to spend time in a place and connect with others. We turned our attention to existing public spaces, that have evolved organically, and found some great examples in Toronto. Scadding Court is one of those unique and inclusive spaces in the city that welcomes and connects a diverse group of citizens.
How do we Design for Diversity? We here at OpenCity have spent the last seven years learning about what motivates diverse people to spend time in a place and connect with others. In sharing our research findings in this emerging field, we aim to inspire others to design more inclusive places for culturally diverse communities. For us Design for Diversity is a new way of viewing, planning and designing public space.
Over the summer we launched a nine-point Manifesto, developed a framework and posted a series of blog posts sharing stories and ideas that unpack the Design for Diversity principles and explore how to apply them to the design process. The Design for Diversity Tool Kit, an aide for City builders interested in planning for culturally diverse communities, will be launching soon! Continue reading
Since 2006, OpenCity Projects has showcased how excellent public spaces and urban design help make our cities more beautiful, diverse, sustainable, and inclusive.
We have often looked to Toronto for inspiration. It’s a city of newcomers, where immigration is embraced and where almost 50% of its population have been born outside Canada. Here we’ve seen that when people mix together and integrate well with each other and their spaces everyone can live and grow together, peacefully.
Here at OpenCity, we’re always looking for new contributors to cover unique urban experiences in cities around the world. Opportunities are available for both monthly and one-time writing contributions.
We’re also very interested in the potential to share and understand urban experiences through online multimedia. Contributions of photos, video, or audio are welcome and encouraged. Please feel welcome to discuss these possibilities with us.
To learn more about these roles or to express your interest, please contact us and tell us a bit about yourself and your ideas for working with OpenCity.
Photo by Josh from Flickr (cc)
Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we examine stories about POPS in Toronto, redesigning a dangerous street into a user-friendly space and the first city to pave their streets in recycled plastic. Continue reading
Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we examine articles relating to public space and identity. Continue reading
Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week community spirit is a common theme. We bring you city-wide living rooms in Copenhagen tranquil green space amid a Los Angeles traffic jam and a guide to New York’s privately owned public spaces.
City-Wide Living Rooms
A 750 meter “superpark” spans the north end of Copenhagen showcasing the multicultural fabric of the city within three colour-coded zones. The intent of the plan was to create a communal space that reflects the cultural make-up of the community. (Via TrendHunter)
LA Urban Air
Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Glassman transforms billboard advertisements into suspended urban forests with his “Urban Air” project. The existing structure is modified to house the planters along with a water misting system and wifi network that monitors the environment. (Via GOOD)
Privately Owned Public Space
The Municipal Art Society of New York provides a key to the privately owned public space in the city along with an interactive map. The user can search for spaces by address or by selecting a preferred amenity such as seating, food service or artwork. (Via APOPS)
Photo from Jens Rost on Flickr (cc)
Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you articles focused on community engagement through creative reuse of space and public art installations from giant pillows in Vancouver to art in odd places in New York City (plus a cool infographic for good measure). Continue reading
It’s a holiday Monday for many people in North America and a few other parts of the globe. Whether you’re relaxing at home or taking a break from your work day, enjoy this retelling of “the birth of the universe” projected onto the surface of the unfinished Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.