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Toronto students to revitalize Chicago neighbourhood


November 16, 2006
by Canadian Architect

Toronto design students are heading to Chicago on November 17 to collaborate on a multi-disciplinary design project to transform transitional urban communities.

Born from a Partnership City relationship between Toronto and Chicago and a commitment to do joint projects, the event pairs six Toronto design students with their Chicago counterparts. Participating students hail from George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries and the City Design Centre of the University of Illinois with specialties in design, urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture and social development.

By incorporating principals from Massive Change: the Future of Global Design exhibition developed by Toronto’s Bruce Mau of Bruce Mau Design and George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries, the students will propose revitalization concepts for a youth-oriented park in a west-side Chicago community. An international jury will judge the final designs on creativity and integrative thinking in addressing social and sustainability issues.

In preparation, students will tour Garfield Park and attend the “Massive Change and the City: Global Visionaries Symposium” at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park. Student teams will develop their design concepts in preparation for the jury review.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the capabilities and ingenuity of Toronto’s design students, while at the same time working collaboratively with another jurisdiction on city building,” said Don Eastwood, General Manager, Economic Development, Culture & Tourism. “Toronto is proud to offer a wide variety of design education opportunities for talented individuals.”

City of Toronto, Economic Development, Culture and Tourism staff worked with the Toronto Design Exchange to create and co-ordinate the design charrette. The plan is for a reciprocal charrette to take place in 2007 that will focus on a Toronto priority neighbourhood to be facilitated by Toronto’s International Alliance Program and Community Development staff.

Additional partners include the UIC Urban Planning and Policy Program, UIC Department of Architecture, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Landscape Architecture, City of Chicago’s Chicago Sister Cities International Program, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bruce Mau Design, and Canadian Architect magazine.

Toronto’s Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Division supports and assists existing businesses, potential investors and business associations; supports cultural organizations and develops policies to enhance creative industries and offerings; and strives to position Toronto as a dynamic and vibrant international tourist destination with innovative attractions and facilities; and fosters the development of globally significant events and festivals.

The City of Toronto’s International Alliance Program (IAP) program is designed to foster formal and informal relationships with global cities to strengthen economic, cultural, tourism, and multicultural links internationally and to share best practices. The program also works to forge informal international relationships and networks for the purpose of investment attraction.



Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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