Did you know that for the first time in North America there are more poor residents of suburbs than central cities? Or that America’s older, inner-ring first suburbs make up 20 percent of the nation’s population and are more diverse? Or that most North American families spend over 19 percent of their budgets on transportation?
You’d know all this, and more, if you went in search of Best of 2006 lists. I thought I’d compile a few which have caught my eye over the last week. Some of these list include topics and items that are not really relevant to Spacing‘s coverage, so I’ll try to highlight the stuff that is pertinent.
NOW has a three lists that will pique the interest of Spacing readers: the most important important one is City Hall’s Worst Gaffes — ad-funded street furniture tops the list, with the no-tender TTC subway contract in second, the lack of monetary support from the City of Toronto for Pedestiran Sundays and BikeShare, the TTC’s continued lack of support for transit enthusiasts like Spacing‘s subway buttons, the Rider Efficiency Guide, and the anagram subway map. Bringing up the rear is the consultation process surrounding the new City of Toronto Act. Now’s other lists of interest are the Top 10 Highs (Miller re-elected, the City’s green policy, and the province’s announcement that they will buy locally produced renewable energy), and the Top 10 Lows (province dumps Port Lands energy Centre on Toronto’s lap, flights take-off from Island Airport, the new city council and mayor have new mega-powers, and the party ends at Cherry Beach).
Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star writes in Saturday’s paper about how 2006 became the year Toronto embraced its newfound energy for building beautiful things. Hume also compiled 2006’s top 10 Projects That Changed Toronto.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to Spacing readers that the culture of development and architecture are thriving online in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. And each city has blogs that highlight some of the best and worst of their respecitve cities. Curbed has posted Part I and Part II of its Best of 2006 in NYC. It includes some wild articles and development gossip that even a Torontonian can enjoy — highlights include the “Most Outlandish Urban Plan”, The Daniel Libeskind Award which is awarded to the architect most notably on the receiving end of the karma boomerang, Most Threatened Landmark, the “Somebody’s Going to Pay for Fucking with God Award” (which goes to church renovations), and the worst Advertecture (their word for ad-creep). Curbed’s sister site Curbed LA has four posts about 2006: check out part I, part II, part III, part IV, while Curbed SF has one post.
Check out the Top 10 in Chicago architecture for 2006 which highlights some very interesting buildings and projects taking shape in Toronto’s sister city (for those who don’t watch the comings-and-goings of city hall in obsessive detail, Toronto and Chicago local governments have teamed up to share ideas).
Even starchitect Frank Gehry got into the “best of” craze by picking his best picks of 2006 in the Wall Street Journal.
Environmental issues have become popular end of year lists: check out the Top 10 Sustainability Stories of 2006, or the blog Springwise’s Top 10 Green Business Ideas of 2006, or the Top Green Trends of 2007.
photo by Sam Javanrouh