Tuesday, June 09, 2009

designing Toronto

the PUG awards, Jan Gehl in town...last Wednesday was a busy day in Toronto for everyone interested in urban design.

i was lucky to attend a lecture by Danish urban planner extraordinaire, Jan Gehl, at the gorgeous Design Exchange on Bay Street. The former Toronto Stock Exchange room was packed, to hear Gehl talk about his projects, including his recent work with New York City's radical Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan for the PlaNYC Initiative. Times Square for pedestrians, bike routes down Broadway...as Gehl said, "If you can do it there, you can do it anywhere!"

i'm sure i wasn't the only one in the room wondering why Toronto isn't making similar moves. For more on this, with some high-octane reader comments, my BlogTO report, here.

and the very same evening, the PUGs were handed out. Awarded by popular on-line voting, this year's winners weren't surprising--the gorgeous AGO came out on top in the commercial building category, and classy but safe One St. Thomas won in residential. the losers weren't publicly mocked at the ceremony, but things did get interesting during the panel discussion. my article focusing on the PUGs' impassioned panel, here (along with some more photos).

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