Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
COVID-19 has underscored the value of parks and public spaces. A new survey shows that US mayors have gotten the message, but post-pandemic plans for public spaces remain largely undefined.
Many people prefer the status quo as they struggle to imagine the alternatives. The pandemic has been the catalyst for urban experiments that have opened our eyes to new possibilities.
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Facebook's choice of profits over the people is difficult to reconcile with its commitment to free speech.
After an extensive renovation, an old house in a laneway in Toronto became a new two-bedroom home.
(LGA Architectural Partners, Ben Rahn/A Frame)
Laneway suites could increase rental stock in established neighbourhoods without affecting their character. Toronto has lagged behind other cities in Canada and North America.
All parks are not equal. The response to the opening of golf courses to the public during the COVID pandemic shows the quality of green open space is a big issue for city residents.
Artist Joi T. Arcand explains ‘Never Surrender,’ ‘translates a …1980s Canadian pop song into the Cree language and recontextualiz[es] the lyrics as an anthem of Indigenous sovereignty.’ Here, the image layered over a photo of a Winnipeg sidewalk.
Both the COVID-19 pandemic and urgent debates around public heritage and monuments shape how Nuit Blanche Toronto is seeking to engage artists and viewers in remapping cities.
EPA/Robin Van Lonkhuijsen
By using computer crowd simulations, we can figure out how large numbers of people can move around public space while maintaining social distancing.
The Gender Equality Act in Victoria creates an obligation to understand how gender affects needs and experiences, and to design, assess and manage public spaces so women feel safe in those places.
Finding a washroom during either a pandemic or a protest within a pandemic is an issue about how free and accessible our urban spaces are.
Public washrooms are an essential service and the people who maintain them are essential workers. But what happens when a pandemic closes public bathrooms and a civil rights protest breaks out?
Public spaces must now meet our need to be ‘together but apart’.
When urban spaces work well they are highly social spaces. How do we safely manage them and people's fears about mingling when ‘being together but apart’ is the norm?
Temporary and tactical urbanism offers simple, low-cost solutions to make streets and other public spaces both safe and sociable during this time of physical distancing.
COVID-19 has upturned uses of public spaces that we took for granted. Will shifts in the regulation of these spaces lead to a change in thinking about who “owns” the city?
At a deserted Federation Square in Melbourne, the big screen broadcasts this message: ‘If you can see this, what are you doing? Go home.’
Current restrictions remind us of the value of access to public space and one another. Yet even before COVID-19 some people were excluded and targeted, so a return to the status quo isn't good enough.
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In reacting to the pandemic, architecture can reclaim its impact by conceding its loss of connection with public health, looking beyond Western thinking for its references.
Most of the activities that define city life we do together. Now that we are having to get used to more isolated lives, will this have lasting social impacts or will city life resume as before?
Our mental health benefits when nature is part of our neighbourhoods, as in this residential street in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
It's well-established that green spaces are good for our well-being. Now we can demonstrate that greater biodiversity boosts this benefit, as well as helping to sustain native plants and animals.
Some publicly accessible spaces are actually privately owned public spaces such as Brisbane’s popular South Bank city beach and streets scene.
As you walk about a city are you in public or private space? The line is often blurred.
One nine-year-old chose his local supermarket as a place he valued because he could “spend time with mum and help decide what goes in our trolley”.
When primary school children in a disadvantaged part of Sydney were asked to map what they valued in the area, their choices were revealing and sometimes surprising.
Sea Line Park, one of the shortlisted entries in the competition to design a new park for the Melbourne of 2050.
Future Park Design Ideas Competition
Some might scoff at the free-ranging ideas sparked by a competition to design future parks for Melbourne. But the legacy of a radical idea to green a CBD street in 1985 shows why we need such thinking.
The benefits of ‘superblocks’ for Barcelona include better health, access to green space and other public space, and more transport-related physical activity.
The Spanish city is remaking urban neighbourhoods by limiting through traffic in superblocks that give priority to pedestrians and street activities, not cars.