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
Labyrinths have long held the imagination of humanity, from Ancient Greeks to moviegoers in the 1980s. In an urban setting, labyrinths vary in temporality, from chalk drawings on sidewalks to permanent installations in parks. Importantly, labyrinths differ from mazes in that they classically have one way in, and one way out, sparing the user from the frustration of dead-ends. Continue reading
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
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 century of car-centric urban development has left our cities polluted, congested and searching for sustainable solutions. Transport Demand Management (TDM) strategies can provide these solutions by combining public policy and private sector innovation to reverse over-reliance on private cars. The Moving Beyond Cars series offers a global tour of TDM solutions in Brazil, China, India and Mexico, providing lessons in how cities can curb car culture to make sustainable transport a reality.
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 stories about transforming parking spots to bike lanes, re-designing cities for the elderly and creating spaces for peace, dialogue and coexistence. Continue reading
London-based Canadian designer, Philippe Malouin, is the latest to re-imagine Caesarstone’s diverse surfacing. At the latest Interior Design Show in Toronto, the brand debuted Swings, a playful gesture which takes the composite stone out of its context and re-appropriates it in a surreal installation.
Earlier this year Danny Cooke had the opportunity to visit Chernobyl while working for CBS News on a ’60 Minutes’ episode. Described as one of the most interesting and dangerous places he has ever been. The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in Ukraine happened in 1986, but the crisis is still with us today. That’s because radiation virtually never dies.
As I was walking downtown I noticed this young man on this bike practicing some tricks. I bet Mies van der Rohe didn’t see this as a use when he designed the TD Buildings back in the day. This is a perfect example of how public space can transform itself into an arena of self expression and imagination through the eyes of a beholder.
Video by Richelle Sibolboro
Richelle Sibolboro is Managing Editor of OpenCity Projects