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 solar power in Rwanda, reclaiming ugly underpasses as public space and including building efficiency in climate talks. Continue reading
An installation by Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich, Pulled by the Roots suspends a to-scale house above the Karlsruhe Marktplatz. Continue reading
When developers in big cities begin new projects—whether repairing old buildings or creating new ones—their initial focus in preparing the site seems to revolve around due diligence. Have the neighbours been notified? Will activity remain within noise and traffic by-laws? And always, has the construction site been physically separated safely from the public realm?
The barriers between construction sites and the sidewalk are typically crafted out of simple boards, scaffolding or plywood. There is nothing particularly attractive about these dividers. Often they will be plastered with posters, and in cases where developers have gone to greater effort, the temporary walls may display images and slogans to market the condos that are being built. These dividers do nothing to add to the passerby’s experience, and if anything, detract from simply walking down the street.
Here in Toronto, one developer has taken a very different approach in separating a new condo construction site from pedestrians. This group is developing an old industrial site that had once been a distillery. Section by section they have refurbished old buildings along cobblestone streets and created new spaces for shops and artisans. Instead of slapping up simple barriers around a new condo site, the developers have built a unique, attractive wall as a hoarding.