What makes a community flourish? Throughout history, cities and towns have provided communal space for people to interact and provide for them-selves and one another. Such places have a role in fostering a sense of belonging, socializing and connecting with the natural environment. Often these places are taken for granted and allowed to shrink or decay. This series re-imagines what could be.
Series Coordinators: Carol Mair, Diane McIntyre
Special thanks to Shawna Macivor
Historically, the municipal town square's role was to provide a public space where residents gathered, did commerce, and engaged in the city's political life. Fast forward to 2021, the COVID pandemic has demonstrated the importance of public space, including natural enviroments, and presents an opportunity to re-imagine our civic commons. By showcasing global and local examples, we hope to inspire action and demonstrate the potential of participatory placemaking processes that enable residents to co-create inclusive public spaces that foster beneficial social connections in our everyday lives.
Marina Queirolo: BA MES candidate is a community builder by nature and a designer / marketer by trade. Since 2010 Marina has managed Evergreens initiatives related to food policy and public markets. Currently, as part of the Urban Projects Collective, she is leading projects that advance urban innovation in the areas of civic commons, public markets and food systems.
Sue Lantz: BA MPA is the Managing Director of Collaborative Aging. Sue specializes in creating innovative models of housing, community design and healthcare delivery to enable healthy and socially connected aging.
plazaPOPS is a design research initiative that proposes a new type of community gathering space within the privately owned parking lots of commercial strip-malls in Toronto’s inner suburbs. The talk will give an overview of ideas that motivate the project, describe lessons learned from the six-week pilot project installed during the summer of 2019, and outline next steps.
Brendan Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. His research and practice centers on community design and cultural landscapes
Daniel Rotsztain is an Urban Geographer, artist, writer and cartographer whose work examines our relationship to the places we inhabit. He is the author of “All the Libraries Toronto” and “A Colorful History Toronto”, celebrating Toronto’s social Infrastructure.
Why is Toronto North America’s fastest growing city? One of the key reasons is livability and sense of community – much of which can be attributed to a strong legacy of forward- thinking public policy. This has resulted in quality public spaces that foster connections between people and opportunities for community building. Learn about the past, present and emerging approaches the City is taking to provide for and protect these important spaces.
Jane Welsh is the Project Manager of the Environmental Planning Unit of Toronto City Planning. She is responsible for creating new innovative solutions to address sustainability / resilience and change the way Toronto is built. She is a fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
To create a functional public space, we should not only be looking at the user: but also creating an opportunity to create or enhance community interaction / engagement with existing facilities. Parks that work in collaboration with existing facilities can double as green space for the facility and tend to see more use based on societal needs. I will look at many small parks and public spaces in Hanover, ON and surrounding area to give some background on this discussion.
Paul R. Brydges is the Senior Landscape Architect and founder of Brydges Landscape Architectures (2004). He is the current Chair of the Communities in Bloom Foundation Canada. He is Past President of Landscape Ontario and is the Ontario representative on the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.
Community spaces are for everyone, or are they? Conflict of purpose can arise when different groups perceive a different purpose for a community space. Who are the people in your neighbourhood? What happens when you create the most amazing public space, a civic commons...but people show up and start using it? And then a Pandemic hits and all the understood rules change. Explore the impact of the public in public spaces. How do we create common spaces that everyone can feel comfortable using? Who are those people? Why are they there? Take a peek beyond the drive-thru and get to know your neighbours.
As the Executive Director of the United Way of Bruce Grey for 16 years Francesca Dobbyn has provided leadership and guidance to the community on many issues. Her work in the field of energy poverty has gained provincial, if not national attention. In addition to being a University of Guelph alumni, Francesca has participated in 2 Banff Leadership programs and recently completed the Maytree Foundations School of Public Policy. Francesca has built a life’s work speaking out for those who cannot or will not be heard.
Turkey is a country that has brought together a diverse ethnic, religious and cultural population. Geographically, Turkey spans the continents of Europe and Asia and shares a border with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Greece and Bulgaria. Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, has been the epicenter of the Christian faith, later Islam and is not a secular country. The history of Turkey runs deep with national, religious and ethnic clashes. But how did Turkey achieve this diversity without fracturing their country. What part does the Civic Commons play in bringing people together as a nation to an accepted harmony?
Mert Tanner is a native of Izmir, Turkey and resident of both Istanbul and the Aegean port town of Kusadasi. A leader of archaeological and cultural tours through Turkey for over 24 years, he is an expert and guest lecturer on the topics of biblical history, archaeology, and architecture. Mert earned undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and History from the prestigious Bogazici University, then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Biblical History from Trinity College, University of Dublin.