Monday, August 22, 2011

The end of Ford?

Back to the Future ‘2’, Shift Architecture - RETHINK LA exhibit.

In this month’s Toronto Life entitled Exodus to the Burbs, Sarah Fulford complains about Jane Jacob’s victory in stopping the Spadina Expressway project in the early seventies. The editor of the monthly compares the abandoned highway project to  New york’s high line or Chicago’s Waterfront, saying that Toronto's failure to go through with its grand plans have made the city boring and unfriendly*. She's right about the lack of public projects, but come on, urban highways are certainly not what Toronto needs more of.

This issue has made quite a stir among the downtown crowd. Urbanist Edward Keenan responded by an article in which he reminded Toronto Life that downtown exodus isn't something new. Dear Sarah Fulford the urban sprawl was a grand plan.  

The fact is the suburbs versus downtown is a real divide, that isn't only spatial,  but also cultural, economical and as the recent elections have proven political. 

Toronto is currently booming. And as development is on the go we need to take the responsibility to  re-evaluate both models uptown and downtown. We left the city because it was too dense and all we're building now, and everywhere are high rises made up of tiny units.  What happened to the ideologies that drove the sub-urban project: openness, nature, we need some of that downtown too. Where-as up-town we need amenities and public space. Re-think LA is an urban art initiative that is asking these questions to its inhabitants. We could use some of that here in Toronto too.

for the rebuttal to Toronto Life, which has been extremely disappointing this month, read Edward Keenan on the Grid.