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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Good Neighbours, Unbuilt Toronto and Urban Screens

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Spacing Saturday highlights posts from across Spacing’s blog network in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and the Atlantic region.

Vancouver’s Director of City Planning, Brent Toderian, shares his take on the early results of an exciting public design and ideas competition to re-imagine the city’s downtown road viaducts. Links are provided to the submissions in the reCONNECT design contest.

Urban Screens with interactive facades, buildings projections and networked communication are spreading to all kinds of urban environments around the world. Erick Villagomez showcases a an event held this week to discuss the issue of how these projections positively engage audiences and contribute to the experience of society.

Of course, this week also saw the conclusion of the municipal election in Vancouver. Spacing was quick to provide interesting analysis and cartographic representation of the results.

With the City of Ottawa pushing ahead with plans to widen Bronson Ave, Spacing looks at how the traffic artery currently harms the downtown urban fabric and where concerned people can voice criticism of the project.

As part of the Screen Grab feature, Evan Thornton reflects on his new insights on the social history of Ottawa gleaned from the pages of  Alain Miguelez’s extensive book on the history of theaters in the city.

Emile Thomas shares a recent experience which revealed his deep and previously unbeknownst daily relationship with the neighbours in his building. Thomas uses this as an opportunity to reflect on how to treat ones neighbours and expectations of urban living.

This week’s Sunday Building Project offers up a little piece of the town of Mount Royal with a heavy theme of the city as provider, of curbside freebies.

Alex Bozikovic discusses his recent piece in Architectural Record talking about the building boom currently reshaping the skyline of Toronto and other Canadian cities. Contrasted with the building stagnation in many American centers our situation is hope for both caution and optimism.

John Lorinc used his column this week to talk about Mark Osbaldeston’s new book Unbuilt Toronto 2 which looks at proposed major developments that were never built. Lorinc shows that book reveals several close calls with monstrosities as well as a possible origin of second guessing on transit.

Photograph by: Jim Crossley