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Spinning tops and summer streets

spinning top

“Los Trompos (Spinning Tops),” a set of six, eight-foot-tall interactive seating elements, created by Mexican-based design team Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena was placed within the Astor Place Rest Stop all three Summer Streets Saturdays. Inspired by the popular children’s toy, the seating elements enabled Citi Summer Streets participants to experience a life-sized “spinning top” first hand as they twisted around and within the sculptures. Continue reading

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How do we Design for Diversity?

d4d collage

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

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Larger than life in Rio

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In celebration of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, artist JR has created two new public artworks in the city. The pair of installations build upon the french artist’s ongoing ‘Inside Out‘ project, but adopt a completely novel material in their realization: construction scaffolding. JR depicts two larger than life athletic figures on metal poles, placed in dramatic locations across the urban landscape of Rio. Continue reading

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August Events

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It’s that time of year again where outdoor festivals, placemaking efforts and community events are in full swing; take time to explore, play and enjoy your city’s public spaces. Here are just a few events taking place in the month of August:

Summer Streets
New York City, NY
August 6, 13, 20 2016

International Open Streets Summit
Portland, OR
August 18 – 21, 2016

OpenStreets TO
Toronto, ON
August 21, 2016

Continue reading

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Design for Diversity – Bend the rules

ken dance

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 “bending the rules” – the final point in our manifesto. Continue reading

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The Hills on Governors Island

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The Hills, the new park on Governors Island in New York City, opened on July 29. The park is designed by Dutch firm, West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture and constructed from fill made out of the demolition of  existing buildings to the site, recycled materials and steel slag. Among some of the great features is Slide Hill, which rises forty feet, and has four silver-colored slides of different lengths; one being longest slide in all of New York City.  Continue reading

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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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