Tag Archives: Adaptive Reuse

Old tires new tricks


A surreal sight has taken over part of the urban landscape in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain. Artist collective CÚMUL installed ‘ONA,’ a public art installation, made from old tires, that calls attention to waste and the threat it poses to the environment. Created for the city’s Cultura de la Calle Festival, ONA takes on the shape of an emerging wave symbolizing the notorious sea of old tires dumped in the nearby Spanish town of Seseña. Continue reading

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Weekly Review


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 importance of putting pedestrians at the centre of urban design,  encouraging kids to be silly and bridging the gap to good design by using a city’s elevated infrastructure to create great public spaces.

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From church to bookstore in 500 years


Broerenkerk church has stood in Zwolle, a mid-sized city in the north of the Netherlands, since 1466. Shuttered in 1982, Broerenkerk, now called “Waanders in de Broeren,” has reopened its doors to the community as a bright, airy and exquisitely lovely bookstore. Continue reading

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Herb Market on an Abandoned Motorway

This is the second article in a series on the markets of Warwick Junction.

Traditional medicine – known as Muthi – plays a vital role in health and wellness for South Africans.  Traditional healers diagnose and prescribe based on age-old wisdom passed down through the generations.  Illnesses and ailments are treated with herbal remedies that are grown, prepared and dispensed through a vast network of suppliers and traders in South Africa.

Durban’s Warwick Junction is home to one of the largest Muthi markets in South Africa, and from an urban planning perspective, the history of the market space is as fascinating as the Muthi itself.  Before the Warwick Junction urban renewal project got underway in the late 1990s, traders sold their wares on the street, where the lack of shelter and storage space left them at constant risk of damage and theft.  To protect their goods overnight, many traders slept beside them on the pavement. Continue reading

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The Aesthetics of Juxtaposition

By Jake Tobin Garrett

As the days begin to get warmer, I am looking forward to spending some time at Sugar Beach, one of the newer waterfront public spaces that is part of Waterfront Toronto’s ambitious revitalization of the Toronto’s shoreline. The beach owes its name to Redpath Sugar, a still working piece of Toronto’s industrial past that remains adjacent to the park.

It’s not unusual to see a huge ship carrying thousands of tonnes of raw Brazilian sugar docked at the refinery, unloading its burnt-yellow cargo with cranes that send metallic clangs over the water. I love watching the workers who in turn gaze over the railing of the ship at the people lounging under Sugar Beach’s bubblegum pink umbrellas. It must be an uncommon sight to these workers to be able to stare at sunbathers and kids playing in water fountains while they do their work; but then again, it’s uncommon for a public space like Sugar Beach to share such close proximity to working industry.

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