As 2016 comes to a close we would like to take a look at what made this year so memorable. We explored innovative programs from around the world that focused on cultural diversity, inclusion and community building. We also launched Design for Diversity in 2016. For us, it is a new way of viewing, planning and designing public space that will work to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for all people. Our work won’t stop in 2017 either. The Design for Diversity Tool Kit, an aide for City builders interested in planning for culturally diverse communities, will be launching in 2017. Continue reading
At OpenCity, we have spent the last seven years learning about what motivates diverse people to spend time in a place and connect with others. Design for Diversity is a new way of viewing, planning and designing public space through a lens of inclusion and diversity. Over the coming weeks we will unpack the Design for Diversity manifesto to ease planners and city lovers into the practice. Continue reading
Turn on the news these days and you are likely to see stories about migration and diversity in cities that often lead to tension rooted in racial and cultural differences. An increasing number of people are migrating for a range of social, economic, political and environmental reasons. It is critical for cities, and those who love and live in them, to find ways to be more welcoming to newcomers, to be more inclusive, and design with diversity in mind. If they don’t, we face spreading intolerance, and potentially, outright xenophobia.
Now that spring has sprung and the clocks have been turned forward, we can reminisce about the season that was. The second annual Winter Stations was an imaginative and vibrant exhibition aimed at recharging Toronto’s hibernating east end beaches throughout the long winter months that are now thankfully behind us.
At OpenCity Projects, we love that street art brings beauty, subversiveness and alternative voices to our public spaces. Here’s five of the coolest street art projects we covered in 2015.
Toronto’s Distillery District Christmas Market lived up to yet another successful year filled with traditional winter festivities, delicious treats, and holiday cheer. From November 20th to December 20th, visitors from both near and afar came to partake in a wide range of activities and sightseeing opportunities in the historic district. At night, the market transformed into a festival of lights where one could enjoy a ride on the ferris wheel to catch a glimpse from a birds eye view, or savour a hot mulled wine by the fire.
It’s officially fall, but the events aren’t slowing down. This November we are celebrating architecture and design. Here are just a few events taking place this month:
2015 Design Matters Conference
November 4-6, 2015
World Architecture Festival
November 4-6, 2015
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Design Thinkers Conference
November 12-13, 2015
It started with a vacant lot; an unloved, mostly ignored, plastic-bag-and-broken-bottle-strewn patch of city. I, and am sure many others in my neighbourhood, passed by it every day. Sometimes I’d grumble about its sorry state but usually I would just ignore it. At some point, I knew, given Toronto’s current real estate frenzy, this corner would be developed, its barren ground again serving an essential function. With earphones in and a whole other three corners to survey during my commute, I could wait a while for this gap in the urban fabric to be filled.
Tis the season for outdoor festivals, exhibits and community events.
Here are just a few taking place this month:
July 2 to November 2, 2015
Whole month of July 2015
July 10 to July 26, 2015
Photo by from Pawel Pacholec Flickr CC
As the mercury begins to rise above zero in many Canadian cities in March, it’s tempting to pretend that we’ll never again have to bundle up and suffer through frozen-numb faces and temperatures colder than Mars. Though probably required to alleviate our collective cabin fever, in reality about one quarter of our lives in northern cities is spent dealing with winter and its many discontents. This annual recurrence of snow and slush, blizzards and black ice, has largely and traditionally been ignored by urban planners and designers whose work tends to focus on making our cities and spaces livable and functional for only three quarters of the year. Lately, however, a movement has been gaining momentum that is challenging this seasonal myopia and is seeking innovative solutions to combat this oversight.