With Temporary Parklets, Toronto Plays Long Game in Taking Back City's Streets

With the installation of new parklets along Church Street in Toronto's Gay Village, the city is embracing a rethink of how its public spaces are used. While the elimination of parking spots may be heresy to many, Christopher Hume welcomes the change.

"Street by street, lane by lane, curb by curb, the war to take back the city is now being waged," says Hume. "The odds are against those who would depose the mighty automobile, but time is on their side. Whether they’re on foot, a bike or sitting around eating and drinking, people now expect to be able to share the roads."

"The program is radical, perhaps revolutionary," he continues. "It suggests that taking away precious parking spots for other, non-vehicular, purposes is an appropriate use of public space." 

"The Church St. parklets might not change Toronto; but they will alter our experience of it. They will provide space to spread out and survey the scene. They will allow pedestrians to move off the narrow concrete strips that line our roads, sidewalks, where they have been consigned since time immemorial."

Full Story: Envisioning Urban Futures Through An Old-Fashioned Viewfinder

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