Imagine a city where street furniture is designed by psychiatric survivors and artists. It’s a far cry from a city with fully harmonized street furniture covered in advertisements.
Here’s something to help spark your imagination.
The tree and dog sculptures-cum-bike stands were designed by a group of psychiatric survivors who meet at Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre (PARC) on Tuesdays.
The stand is out in front of PARC. There are, apparently, two more sculptures to be installed this month that incorporate solar panels. But, PARC administrators are trying to figure out how to theft-proof them since someone has taken some marble off of this one.
From the release:
PARC artists create from a place of “human renewal”, reflecting their experience that urban renewal often excludes those who do not have possessor rights in today’s society. Ultimately, bricks and mortar need renewal but so do people…where can they go when the places they frequent become out of their reach?
The bold emphasis is mine. I wonder if the City would be willing to intentionally seek out the input of psychiatric survivors and outsider artists for its recently-launched Coordinated Street Furniture Program. It has initiated a number of studies and public consultations, available here.
The street furniture program has good intentions to beautify Toronto’s streets, but, as the folks at the Toronto PublicSpace Committee say; â€œ…the project has turned into the biggest public space sell-off we’ve seen so farâ€¦â€
As it stands now, citizens of Toronto are more likely to see advertising on their street furniture rather than whimsical and inspiring art.
(See this previous post on the Spacing wire for cool pics of inventive bike racks in Ohio and Whitehorse.)
Photos courtesy of BikingToronto