The Gladstone Hotel was hopping last night with the usual crowd of young urban hipsters, but there was something very odd about it: they were there to party about a magazine and a blog, that cover those oh-so-trendy subjects:
City hall, architecture, urban planning, public transit, transportation infrastructure and just about anything that involves the public realm of our cities.
How did this happen, that such things became hip?
Spacing party after I left. Photo by Yvonne Bambrick, used with permission.
For one thing, they took it away from academia and into the streets. They write:
Public space is at the heart of democracy. It’s where people interact, teach, learn, participate, and protest.
But environmental degradation, commercial self-interest, and infrastructure neglect have come to dominate our cities’ streets. Fortunately, imaginative and passionate city-dwellers worldwide — and in Toronto in particular — appreciate the endless possibilities that cities can offer. They are resisting the co-option of their communities through random acts of beauty and intellect.
They keep on top of the current topics; the current issue is all about suburbs. They also don't just write, but get involved; some of them sit on the Friends of Fort York board, a tired old historic site that they are working to revitalize.
The green movement has tried to do this with Greendrinks and yes, even TreeHugger, but there is a lot other cities and organizations can learn from the work of the gang at Spacing.
Stories in TreeHugger sourced from Spacing:
Ad Creep Hits the Bike Lanes
Guerilla Gardening Goes Nano
Victorian Architects Knew How to Design Off-Grid
Taking Back the City Dept: Psychogeographic Walks
Green Roof Installed Over Toronto Subway Station
How They Store Bikes In Tokyo
Guerilla Gardeners: Resistance is Fertile