Category Archives: Accessibility

Placemaking in Hamilton, A Driver for Economic Growth

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Several months ago, the Ontario Association of Architects, in partnership with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce presented a panel discussion, “Hamilton Placemaking as a Driver for Economic Growth.” The event featured talks by Jason Thorne (General Manager of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Hamilton,) Steve Kulakowsky (Partner, Core Urban, Inc.,) Sonja Macdonald (Principal, Civicplan,) Rob Zeidler (Partner, The Dabbert Group,) Richard W. Allen (Director of The Renew Hamilton Project, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.) Continue reading

The Most Stylish Gas Station in LA

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In an era where they only pump your gas in New Jersey, the glory days of the gas station seem extinct – the task and the place, monotonous. But even in Los Angeles, a city of stars, it’s quite a surprise to see this geometric gem. At the corner of Olympic and Robertson lies the most stylish gas station in LA. Continue reading

Souvenir d’un Futur

Laurent Kronental - Souvenir d'un Futur (2)Souvenir d’un Futur documents the life of senior citizens living in the “Grands Ensembles” (large housing projects) around Paris. For the most part erected between the 1950s and the 1980s to address the housing crisis, urban migration and the inflow of foreign migrants while meeting modern comfort needs, these large estates are today often stigmatized by the media and marginalized by public opinion. Continue reading

Participatory Budgeting and Public Space—Better Together?

19359651805_2fc2a7e10c_zNot only do I get excited about public space and urban design—I’m also a bit of an emerging municipal budget nerd. I volunteer with an organization called Better Budget TO, and earlier this year we released a report with recommendations for the City of Toronto to make our budget process more participatory, visionary, open and evidence-based. We also hosted a day-long event called Better Budget Day at Evergreen Brick Works (a great public space!) in partnership with Evergreen City Works. (You see, public space and public budgets really do go hand in hand.) Continue reading

Life After Death

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Death is terrifying. The idea of becoming obsolete, ceasing to exist, is not a pleasant thought. We die, we’re buried and we can only hope to live through the memories of those who knew us well. Cemeteries reflect this ideology perfectly. While each cemetery is unique in its own sense there is unmistakably a common thread winding through them all, they are places to go and grieve. But how often do people actually visit cemeteries? And what becomes of the grave when those who remember die? Cemeteries are dead spaces for dead people. Continue reading

Nova by SOFTlab

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The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute recently announced that SOFTlab is the winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition.  The second annual competition called for proposals from New York design firms for a temporary installation at the heart of the Flatiron District. SOFTlab’s winning proposal, Nova, will be the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming and a highly visible landmark in this thriving neighborhood of New York. Continue reading

La Ciclovia

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There are many ways to see Bogotá and many Bogotás to see and Ciclovia Sundays are the best way to both.

Every Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm, La Ciclovia (literally, “cycle route”) closes more than 120 km of city streets to traffic and opens them to cyclists, pedestrians, rollerbladers, and pets. It then supports them with an array of bike mechanics, fruit and food stands, fitness tests, cycling lessons, and a small army of volunteers to provide everything from simple directions to first aid.

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