Category Archives: Safety

New York to Shut the Beep Up

Coming home from a run on Manhattan’s West Side Highway, I noticed a bold sign: “Don’t Honk, $350 Penalty.” I’m not sure that the sign, mounted above cross walk lights, is visible to drivers but they’re certainly getting the message through other channels—the Taxi and Limousine Commission chief David Yassky sent a message to 13,000 cab drivers to reinforce the city’s noise code which states that “the use of vehicle horns is illegal, except as a warning in situations of imminent danger.” This notice, plus a warning about the stiff fine, caught the media’s attention. Continue reading

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The Beautification of New York City Streets

New York City may not be known for its outdoor spaces (with the exception of a few parks), however, recently, the Bloomberg administration has done a great job at “beautifying” NYC and creating a safer and more pleasing streetscape.

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Car-less Kensington : A Good Idea?

I have always loved shutting down the streets in Toronto’s Kensington Market to cars for the final Sunday of every month from May through October. The streets flood with people and performers. It is obvious this is something desperately wanted by many, and some local businesses boom when it happens.

For years I, and many others, have been frustrated that we cannot shut these streets and others around the city to cars on a more regular, if not, permanent basis. I have written about this frustration in the past. It had never occurred to me that there could be a serious downside to creating a permanent no-car zone in a place like Kensington.

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Making Connections at Richmond Street West

By Jake Tobin Garrett

401 Richmond in downtown Toronto is an adaptive reuse of an old tin factory into a hub of artist studios and galleries. Located at the corner of Spadina Ave and Richmond St West, this huge brick building extends its exterior, dotted with old loading docks, one entire full block east to Peter St. Up until just a few months ago, however, the south side of this stretch of road had no sidewalk. In order to walk east, you had to cross the street and use the thin strip of sidewalk there.

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G20 Could Have Used Some Design 101

A Long, barricaded fence in the heart of downtown Toronto.
20,000 police officers
A billion dollar security budget.
It was designed to fail.

Here at OpenCity, we’re continually broadening the typical definition of design.  Not only about creating shiny and slick objects of desire or building a better kitchen. Good design can help solve problems. It enhances our experiences, both big and small. It creates solutions that satisfy opposing interests. Design thinking requires identifying many stakeholders and researching each of their specific needs.

Let’s examine the different stakeholders involved in hosting an international summit.

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