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.
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.
The city of Santiago, Chile is expanding its biking system and improving mobility as a result. The NGO Ciudad Emergente organized a public intervention to prove that a bike lane could be integrated into a busy street in the city. For one weekend, a temporary and safe 3 km bike lane was available on the three-lane street Eliodoro Yáñez from Tobalaba to Avenida Providencia. Overnight, a team of volunteers transformed one lane into a bike lane by painting lines and installing traffic cones. During the day, safety was assured by human traffic guards and a clear separation between the street and bicycle lanes. Continue reading
A relatively ordinary street underwent a radical transformation over the winter holidays into a beautiful shopping and pedestrian plaza called ‘Winter Walk SF’. Two blocks of Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary Street in the heart of Los Angeles’s Union
Square changed for one month into an entertainment complex with special entertainment, regular live performances and festive surprises.
A subway in the sky is the new public transportation system in the mountainous and unstable terrain of La Paz, Bolivia. This, the first cable car line in the city, stretches from an area near the center of La Paz and connects with the frenetic city of El Alto located on a high plateau. Continue reading
Once again, Banksy has spontaneously announced the beginning of a new project, with the artist’s latest work using satire to highlight the conflict within the embattled Gaza area. In a mock tourism campaign, Banksy employs dark humor to shed light on the devastation caused by Israel’s Operation Protective Edge last year and the resulting destitution within the volatile region.
Richelle Sibolboro is Managing Editor of OpenCity Projects
With a population of over 500,000, Hamilton, is one of Canada’s major cities and is one of Ontario’s most economically diverse. With new developments in the downtown core as well as a new transit expansion in the north-end, it’s no wonder is was named ‘Top Investment City in Canada’ and ‘Top Location for Investment in Ontario’ in 2012 and 2013. OpenCity Projects recently had the opportunity to interview the new General Manager of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Hamilton to find out what really makes Hamilton a great place to live. Continue reading
Built between 1911 and 1914 by Henry Pellatt, Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s most distinctive buildings. Financial difficulties forced Pellatt to give the house up in 1923 and it operated as a hotel and entertainment venue before being taken over by the Kiwanis Club in 1937. Continue reading
The 15-year-old film student, Russell Wellner, spent part of the summer and the Christmas season filming a gorgeous love letter to the TTC on his Canon T3i DSLR camera. Wellner’s one-minute film features shots of Rosedale, St. George, Bloor-Yonge, and a quick front-seat burst along the Bloor-Danforth line from Christie to Castle Frank. Continue reading