On Jun. 12, 2015, the city of Victoria introduced a parklet pilot project in its downtown core. Billed as an “urban oasis,” the temporary public space spans the length of two parallel parking stalls, offering pedestrians a barrier-free space to enjoy downtown life. Continue reading →
When I moved to Toronto from Winnipeg in 2013, I was immediately fascinated with the city’s invigorated spirit, so much so that I limited my apartment search to the downtown core. I found a small bachelor apartment on Church Street, situated in the busy Church/Wellesley Village. One day while walking home from the subway station, I stumbled upon a series of parks linking Dundonald and Charles Streets, called the Dundonald Parkette. This stretch of greenery is a multifunctional urban intervention, offering space for outdoor activities. Whether a user is simply passing through, or passively taking it all in from the comfort of a park bench, the parkette offers a varied set of opportunities.
Urban dwellers are discovering that no backyard or plot of land is too small to grow their own food. Combining the local and organic food movements with DIY, urban farming is on the rise. 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 bring you the campaign to make iconic Parisian plaza’s pedestrian friendly, designing cities for millennials and New York’s best street murals of 2015 (so far).
Against a backdrop of austerity measures and top-down planning interventions, “El Campo de Cebada” – The Barley Field, is an allusion to its former use in the 19th century – in the heart of Madrid’s La Latina neighbourhood illustrates the possibilities of upscaled participative citizenship. Formerly home to a sporting facility in 2009, the 5,500 square metre site was slated to transform into to a private market. However, a hostile atmosphere, coupled with a lack of political foresight, conspired to make the site economically unviable. And so it sat, desolate and fenced in, a veritable scar on the neighbourhood. Continue reading →
Located in the former residence of the 10-story International Shoe Company, the staggering 600,000 square-foot City Museum in St. Louis could be considered the ultimate urban playground ever constructed. Continue reading →
On the first weekend of May, Toronto played host to the Jane’s Walk Festival, a three day bipedal celebration of urban space, as understood by those who live it. With over 180 walks held, the city was dotted with mobile crowds that consistently attracted the curiosity of onlookers – and even led to some new participants. Continue reading →
In our everyday movement within cities, streets provide numerous uses: as a conduit between here and there; as places of planned and sporadic interaction and as sites of opportunity for economic consumption. In this way, streets provide vital infrastructure for city vitality. Increasingly, however, streets in Toronto provide more barriers than entrances, lacking effective cycling infrastructure, suitable rights of way to engender pedestrian safety and a disproportionate affinity for the private vehicle. Against this backdrop, the City of Toronto is in the process of developing a complete streets handbook to facilitate a new approach to planning and designing its streets.
A younger generation of urban explorers are rediscovering NYC and posting their exploits on Instagram where they have thousands of followers. These New Yorkers are scaling to the tops of bridges and exploring below the streets of New York in abandoned subways. Continue reading →
On the afternoon of Saturday May 2nd, Toronto architects and urban designers James Brown and Kim Storey of Brown and Storey Architects Inc. and Office for Responsive Environments narrated a walk along the West Toronto Railpath. This walk, along with nearly 200 others this weekend, was part of Jane’s Walk in Toronto. These free, locally organized neighbourhood walking tours took place in honour of the great urbanist Jane Jacobs and her outstanding contributions to community building.