Category Archives: public space

The Heidelberg Project

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The Heidelberg Project, a public art initiative created by painter/sculptor Tyree Guyton, aims to revitalize a community in east Detroit through art. The eclectic project runs along Heidelberg Street and spans approximately two blocks. Brightly coloured houses and patterned sidewalks line the street, with installation and sculptures that fill the spaces in between. The project started in 1986, as Guyton noticed the decay of his neighbourhood and sought to bring people together. It has grown since then and has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from each year. While this year marked three decades of the Heidelberg Project, it also came with the announcement that the project will soon be dismantled. Continue reading

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No love for locks

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Every year, tourists and locals alike flock to Brooklyn Bridge where a recent trend of attaching padlocks, or “love locks” to the bridge’s pedestrian promenade has been on the rise, echoing the romantic gesture made popular by tourists at Paris’s Pont des Arts bridge. But the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has declared that enough is enough. The agency has announced plans to hang signs prohibiting love locks and other items, and will impose fines of $100 for those unwilling to abide by the new rule. Continue reading

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July 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 July:

Passages Insolites 2016
Quebec City, Canada
June 30 – October 30, 2016

Architecture Fringe 2016
Multiple cities, Scotland
July 1 – 24, 2016

Festival of India
Toronto, Canada
July 16-17, 2016

Urban Reactivation Festival
Villena, Spain
July 23 – 30, 2016

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#SitTO: A No-Brainer Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come

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“Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come” said Victor Hugo, famous author of Les Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Even though he was talking about crime and punishment in the mid-nineteenth century, the sentiment stands, or given this post’s topic, sits. A recent flurry of media attention and a nationally-trending hashtag (#SitTO) has finally started a long overdue conversation about Toronto’s public spaces, namely their lack of public seating. See, while Toronto has no shortage of engaging streets, vibrant neighbourhoods, and dynamic public spaces – seriously check out footage from Jurassic Park during the NBA playoffs – there’s very few places where you can take a load off. Here’s a few reasons in no particular order about why that’s a problem and why you should care about this in the first place.

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Set in the Street

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Brooklyn-based photographer Justin Bettman is turning unwanted and discarded materials into alfresco living rooms in various cities around the world. Set in the Street is a collection of elaborate living room sets erected in public space. After Bettman is finished shooting photos in the spaces, the sets are left up on the street, where passersby are invited to shoot their own photos.  Continue reading

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Mobile galleries in Spain

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The side of a freight truck, with its expansive surface space, has great potential for massive artistic expression. This becomes all the more clear as the Truck Art Project transforms these large vehicles into mobile galleries whose exteriors display contemporary paintings. The open road hosts these unconventional artworks, utilizing a network of trade transportation routes that roll across Spain and bring art to places where this type of unexpected work is rarely seen. Continue reading

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Tampa Riverwalk

Tampa River Walk

Tampa Bay’s waterfront, set along a portion of the 54 mile long Hillsborough River, was historically an industrial port. As a project that has slowly been carried through with six mayors, this entire area of Tampa Bay has witnessed significant redevelopment, primarily with the waterfront being opened up to the public after the concept was initiated nearly forty years ago. Though the Tampa Riverwalk took years to redevelop, major parks were established first along the downtown channels and river, where they soon became major destinations for community gatherings and general public open space.
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The Pedestal of Play

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Superkilen, Copenhagen

In a world as grand and complex as ours, it is easy to forget the value of play. Playing becomes the thing that kids do and adults are left with the boring minutia of the day. Companies like Facebook and Google have only recently reminded us that the activity is for adults too. A monumental move, this is about monumental play. Continue reading

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