Friday, June 09, 2006

Rescuing Orphans in Toronto

A very entertaining article recently appeared in the Toronto Star about "orphan spaces"—those slices of cityscape, large and small, that have fallen off the map.

To address these urban odds and ends, the Clean and Beautiful City Secretariat (a division of city government) teams of designers, planners, engineers, students and artists and armed them with a tiny budget of $1,500 per ward. "You can make small, very tactical strikes in these neighbourhoods [sic] and, with a lot of sweat equity, actually make something happen," comments Ian Chodikoff, the editor of Canadian Architect magazine (who helped lead the team effort).

Is this a model that Tacoma should emulate? We certainly have an active professional community and funding that could come out of the Neighborhood Innovative Grant Program. My first nomination for such a program would be the space between the Rust Building and North Park Plaza (I assume this space has a name, but don't know what it is)...

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