Monday, December 21, 2015

How to Build a Better Greenbelt

Posted by Josh Kohler on May 27, 2014

How to Build a Better Greenbelt

*– Part 3 of our series on The Big Review –*

full article here

Ontario's Greenbelt Plan was established in 2005, creating a permanently
protected landscape made up of 1.8 million acres of green space,
agricultural land, existing settlements and natural heritage features and
systems. The Greenbelt is a key component of Ontario's growth management
strategy that directs development away from rural areas that contain
significant agricultural assets, environmental systems, natural resources
and recreational opportunities that are central to sustaining a high
quality of life for rapidly-growing communities in the Greater Golden
Horseshoe (GGH). The Greenbelt Plan works along with and reinforces its
sister Plan, the Growth Plan, which provides direction on where and how
growth should occur. As the largest of its kind worldwide, Ontario's
Greenbelt Plan is both an ambitious and contentious piece of legislation
that affects a diverse range of stakeholders from upper, single, and lower
tier municipalities to farmers, residents, businesses and developers.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Public email

The city is proposing ....unprecedented policies that will allow the city to sell off the names of public spaces and bring in aggressive advertising into them, including parks and playgrounds.

TPSI has analyzed the policies and their potential impacts on your community and its members. The stakes are high. These policies are set to pass on November 29th and will impact your community for years to come.

Highlights of our report include:
-identification of loopholes that allow 'honourific' names to be sold to the highest corporate bidder
-a non-competetive bidding process that has already shortchanged the city
-a change to the street naming policy to take out restrictions on naming streets to facilitate advertising
-virtually unlimited authority delegated to staff to enter into massive advertising deals
-usage of the term 'etc' to broadly define the scope and type of advertising that can be brought in
-the inclusion of BIAs in a consultation process to the exclusion of all other stakeholders
-a severe lack of community consultation and notification requirements
-research and reports, such as a 2008 TTC report on the experience of other major transit system with corporate naming
-letters from major corporations demanding secrecy surrounding the details of their purchases of naming rights in Toronto

Part of the mission of TPSI is to work with, and empower, community groups in the interests of public space policies that deeply impact us all. As such, we ask you to please respond to the following,

1. The City does not want to consult communities - so TPSI is. We would like to arrange a meeting with your community association members to inform you of these policies and how they will impact you, and to suggest how you may engage in the decision making around these.

2. We would also like to secure an official letter from your organization to City Councillors commenting on the policies.

3. Any other assistance you can provide to our campaign, by spreading the word and handing out our flyers in your community, would be greatly appreciated.

To Download the full report please see this link:

Or visit our website @

Monday, April 18, 2011

United nations UN-HABITAT Adopts 1st Resolution on Public Spaces

Reposted from

UN-HABITAT Adopts First-Ever Resolution on Public Spaces

Resolution Requests UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director to Ensure the Application of Place-Making Internationally

April 15, 2011- Nairobi, KenyaThe Governing Council ofUN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlement Programme) has adopted the first-ever public space resolution which urges the development of a policy approach for the international application of Place-making.

The resolution, adopted during its 23rd Session, “requests the Executive Director, in collaboration with Habitat Agenda partners…to develop a policy approach on the role that place-making can play in meeting the challenges of our rapidly urbanizing world, to disseminate that policy and its results widely and to develop a plan for ensuring its application internationally…”


PPS and UN-HABITAT have developed a letter of collaboration affirming UN-HABITAT’s interest in working with Project for Public Spaces towards sustainable urbanization, with a specific focus on Place-making, Public Spaces, and Urban Quality of Life. This is aligned with UN-HABITAT’s Medium Term Strategic and Institutional Plan 2008-13 Focus Area on Urban Planning, Management, and Governance.

As part of this collaboration, PPS has been working with UN-HABITAT to tie Place-making to the UN-HABITAT’s key priority areas of New Urban Planning, Urban Institutions and Governance, Urban Economy and Finance.The recently adopted resolution was among 19 in-session documents debated by the governing council and was submitted by Kenya and passed with the strong support of member states such as Mexico and the European Union. The Women’s Caucus also supported the resolution.

The resolution takes note of the World Charter on the Right to the City and “its resolve that cities should constitute an environment of full realization of all human rights and fundamental liberties assuring the dignity and collective well-being of all people, in conditions of equality and justice, and that all persons have the right to find in the city the necessary conditions for their political, economic, cultural, social and ecological realization…”

Part of a Growing Awareness that Quality Public Spaces are Linked to Quality of Life

This resolution represents the first consolidated approach to inclusive urban public space policy within UN-HABITAT. And although successfully functioning public spaces are one of the most visible forms of public good, Local Authorities’ and urban planners’ appreciation of its social dimension beyond its physical dimension is lacking. This resolution is yet another sign of a growing global recognition that public spaces are a significant aspect of quality of urban life. PPS is thrilled that this resolution recognizes that creating and sustaining quality public spaces through a Place-making approach is an issue of planning, management, and participatory governance and a key component of sustainable urban development.

Resolution on Sustainable Urban Development through Access to Quality Urban Public Spaces

The resolution includes the following seven invitations and requests:

1. Invites Governments to formulate and implement sustainable urban development policies that promote socially just and environmentally balanced uses of urban public space in conditions of urban security and gender equity that foster urban resilience;

2. Invites Governments and local authorities to facilitate the use of public spaces of cities such as streets, parks and markets to foster social, cultural, economic and environmental convergences so that all citizens have access to public spaces in a socially just landscape and within resilient environmental conditions;

3. Invites national Governments and development partners and encourages local authorities to consider:

(a) Implementing urban environmental planning, regulation and management that promotes equilibrium between urban development and protection of natural, historic, architectural, cultural and artistic heritage, that impedes segregation and territorial exclusion, that prioritizes social production of public space and that encourages the social and creative economic function of cities and property: for that purpose, cities should adopt measures that foster integration and equity with quality urban public spaces that respect environmentally friendly processes;

(b) Integrating the theme of urban safety for all citizens, especially for women, girls and other vulnerable groups, as an attribute of the public space, taking into account gender and age considerations in the laws regulating the use of public space;

4. Requests the Executive Director through the medium-term strategic and institutional plan to advance the agenda on place-making and public spaces in a specific way that will consolidate local and international approaches to creating inclusive cities, enhance the knowledge of partners of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and local authorities of place-making, public spaces and the quality of urban life and facilitate and implement exchange, cooperation and research between partners working in this field;

5. Also requests the Executive Director, in collaboration with Habitat Agenda partners, to develop a policy approach on the role that place-making can play in meeting the challenges of our rapidly urbanizing world, to disseminate that policy and its results widely and to develop a plan for ensuring its application internationally;

6. Further requests the Executive Director to assist in coordinating partners of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in disseminating knowledge to existing sustainable urban development processes at all governmental levels;

7. Requests the Executive Director to report to the Governing Council on operating paragraphs calling for action by the Executive Director, at its twenty-fourth session, on progress made in the implementation of the present resolution

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Junction Public Space article

Spacing magazine has published an article on the Junction Public Space Project, this project that at it's beginning was seen to be an long term project, and is slowly moving forward. faster now we hope!

Take a read I have been told it's a good article, will pick up a copy today.

thanks to Martin L for letting the blog know

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Toronto's out-of-bounds attractions [Toronto star article]

Despite the triumph of Doors Open, there are important spaces that are off limits in Toronto – architecture created for the public that is, unfathomably, locked up tight.

from the article...

The Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion says as much about the Toronto of today as of yesterday.

Built in the early 1920s, this once-marvellous lakeshore structure speaks of a time when swimming in public still entailed some modesty, not to mention formality. With its fortress-like walls and neo-classical architecture, it evokes a sense of grandeur; swimming here was not simply fun, it was ennobling.

Keep in mind that this was the place where men and women went to change into their bathing costumes, not where they went to swim. It was also a place to enjoy the scenery, read a newspaper and meet friends.

Today, it is a shadow of its former self. Semi-renovated, half-closed, it remains clearly popular. But there's a tackiness to the pavilion now that belies its builders' intentions. On a sunny evening, the café is full of Torontonians enjoying hotdogs and beer. Beach volleyballers fill the space between the building and Lake Ontario.

Look a little more closely, however, and the pavilion reveals itself as a warren of locked doors, chained gates, closed stairwells and unused spaces. Worst of all, what might be the most attractive feature of the complex, the raised balcony level that wraps around the complex, is closed. link to full article

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 30th 09 study in social space making audio program

Expected to be an excellent source of community space value information

RSA Thursday - The Renewal of St Martin-in-the-Fields: a case study in social space making

30th Jul 2009; 13:00

Renowned architect and Royal Academician Eric Parry visits the RSA to discuss the recently completed redevelopment of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The project has created a sequence of interconnected public spaces both above and below ground as well as a wide range of amenities for a diverse range of users, including the homeless, St Martin's core congregation, the local Chinese community and state of the art facilities for professional musicians.

This highly complex scheme creates a synergy between the baroque church and the contemporary additions, facilitates the flow of access to and from Trafalgar Square and exemplifies the practice's considered approach to place-making within a culturally and historically sensitive context.