Public Works looks at public space, urban design, and city-building innovations from around the world, and considers what Toronto might learn from them.
A rendering of improved an improved park edge—no fences and plenty of seating room. Courtesy NYC Parks.
New York is a city of great parks. Big, famous, sprawling, majestic parks, like Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Paved, yet regal ones, like Washington Square Park, its arch immortalized in a thousand holiday pictures. Tiny, triangular parks, wedged into bicycle spoke intersections, their benches packed tight on summer nights with necking couples, pre-drinkers, time-killers. And what about the strange one, the High Line, a former elevated railroad, now more than 2.3 km of snaking lateral park?
Still, the City says, these parks could be better. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged $50 million for Parks Without Borders, a project aimed at improving parks’ entrances, edges and surrounding spaces. The goal is to make parks more welcoming and and to better integrate them with their surrounding communities.
Photo by Jen Caruso from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
A half-billion dollar revitalization of one of Toronto’s most blighted streets promises significant change, but also raises questions about how the George Street Revitalization can best respond to the diverse and complex needs in Toronto’s downtown east side.
In November, City Council voted to move forward with the George Street Revitalization, a project that promises to update the much-criticized Seaton House men’s shelter and bring new investment to the historic Toronto neighbourhood.
Scheduled to finish in 2021, the revitalization is projected to cost between $350–$550 million.
According to the City’s website, the new George Street will “create a more welcoming, safe and vibrant neighbourhood for all.” But exactly what that means has generated concerns from local residents, homeless advocates, and medical practitioners, all of whom are looking to shape the future of one of Toronto’s oldest streets.
Flurries may be in the air but so is love! How else do you explain multiple amorous fence weavings, clearly created by different people, popping up in fences across the city? Coincidence? We think not! Hopefully, this dose of affection will warm your hearts as much as they did ours in this suddenly frigid November weather.
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