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Public Realm / Parks / Open Space Section

Fad225

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I am wondering if UT ever considered having a different section for Parks / Public Realm and Open Space on the Forum ?.

The list of Parks, streetscape / public realm improvements and upgrade threads is becoming really big (from Waterfront TO parks, Don River Park, Toronto Island Park Revitalization, Dundas Sq, Love Park, Victoria Sq., 229 Richmond, Lower Don Lands, Yonge Tomorrow, UofT's Legacy Project ...etc etc etc... etc are scattered all over the Forum in the "Buildings", "Transportation" and "Design and Architectural Style" sections.

I believe that:

A) It is telling that we don't consider Parks, Open Spaces, and the Public Realm worthy / valuable of having their own section on the Forum and as such deemed secondary.... They are not "buildings" nor "transportation";

B) We should increase the visibility of Parks, Open Spaces, and the Public Realm so that more people are aware of the conversation around important public assets and become more engaged in advocating for them.

@Edward Skira @interchange42 , others I welcome your thoughts.
 
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There are some disagreements among members about where things should go in the Forums. It has resulted in some of our parks threads being in the Transportation & Infrastructure Forum and some in the Buildings Forum. Same thing for transit stations, there are some in each Forum. The staff will talk more about it, but we'll also be interested in more feedback from members.

Regarding parks and transit stations being in the Buildings Forum, the pro-thought is that Buildings has all threads for things that can be identified with a pin on a map, while the Transport & Infrastructure Forum is for things that are basically lines. Those lines threads in the T&I section basically run differently, therefore, pretty much running forever and covering operations long after initial construction is finished, whereas after being completed, buildings and parks are rarely updated afterwards. The two types of threads generally give those two Forums their own unique flavour.

Parks maybe should be on their own, they are somewhat different from buildings, and remain open to everyone after their completion (as opposed to most buildings that are private to groups of people) and therefore will have a public side to operations over time… but we are somewhat resistant to wanting to split the Forums further than they are now, as we have the feeling that we may already have too many separate Forums that cause some threads to be e=wind up a bit lost in less-visited parts of UrbanToronto.

Thoughts?

42
 
@interchange42 , Thanks for this thorough explanation. Very helpful!


"they (parks) are somewhat different from buildings,"

I would say that they are in fact, VERY different, especially as you mentioned the role they play in shaping the public realm - The Lower Don Lands , Love Park, St Andrews Playground, Allen Gardens, Corktown Common, the Bentway etc and others are fundamentally different in function, form, experience, and role they play in the city than "buildings".

In recognition of this important growing list of projects would UT consider renaming the section from "Buildings" to "Buildings and Parks" ? or "Buildings and Open Spaces" ? or something in that spirit in order to simply acknowledge / highlight the reality and value of those projects?

@Northern Light
 
FWIW; I'm not stuck on a particular answer; though I certainly wish would find a way to be consistent in where we place parks and public realm projects such that they are findable.

I don't know if the pins/database is extendable to additional forum sections, but there's certainly value in having parks/public realm projects pinned; though, given how crowded the buildings map is; and that in my ideal world it might be more crowded (that's a separate discussion); perhaps parks/public realm projects deserve a distinct database/map. I mean they have entirely different criteria, generally FSI and Height are largely moot, where many other things might merit highlighting, perhaps the two different types of projects are ill suited to being in the same DB.

Again, just a passing thought.

As to to the main forum section, I'll include a screenshot before offering some thoughts:

1706587598853.png


This is the principal section of UT, in theory, section 1/top ; excepting the bottom (skyrise), its entirely GTA focused.

I have made the suggestion before, so I won't belabour it, But I think the City of Mississauga, Toronto Planning Initiative and Vaughan sections should all be archived, none has had a post in over a year, 2 haven't had posts in over 4 years. They are functionally dead.

If its tightened up, then you can have essentially 4 Toronto sections, Buildings, Transportation, Parks and Public realm, and then Design/Architecture to capture broader discussions that aren't project specific.

The Skyrise section can go underneath still, if desired, though I might argue for placing it lower in the 'rest of the world' area, seeing as its certainly not 'Urban Toronto'.

But I defer to management's wisdom and preferences; I think the main thing here is to make it easier to find these types of projects by finding a way to place them consistently.
 
FWIW; I'm not stuck on a particular answer; though I certainly wish would find a way to be consistent in where we place parks and public realm projects such that they are findable.

I don't know if the pins/database is extendable to additional forum sections, but there's certainly value in having parks/public realm projects pinned; though, given how crowded the buildings map is; and that in my ideal world it might be more crowded (that's a separate discussion); perhaps parks/public realm projects deserve a distinct database/map. I mean they have entirely different criteria, generally FSI and Height are largely moot, where many other things might merit highlighting, perhaps the two different types of projects are ill suited to being in the same DB.

Again, just a passing thought.

As to to the main forum section, I'll include a screenshot before offering some thoughts:

View attachment 536338

This is the principal section of UT, in theory, section 1/top ; excepting the bottom (skyrise), its entirely GTA focused.

I have made the suggestion before, so I won't belabour it, But I think the City of Mississauga, Toronto Planning Initiative and Vaughan sections should all be archived, none has had a post in over a year, 2 haven't had posts in over 4 years. They are functionally dead.

If its tightened up, then you can have essentially 4 Toronto sections, Buildings, Transportation, Parks and Public realm, and then Design/Architecture to capture broader discussions that aren't project specific.

The Skyrise section can go underneath still, if desired, though I might argue for placing it lower in the 'rest of the world' area, seeing as its certainly not 'Urban Toronto'.

But I defer to management's wisdom and preferences; I think the main thing here is to make it easier to find these types of projects by finding a way to place them consistently.
I strongly agree.

My proposal is to remove "parks and public spaces" from the subtitle of the Transportation and Infrastructure forum and have Parks and Public Realm be its own forum, given that the Transportation and Infrastructure forum is mostly about transportation infrastructure. The Parks and Public Realm forum would also have its own database and map. Oh, and Transportation and Infrastructure should be simplified to Transportation.
 
I strongly agree.

My proposal is to remove "parks and public spaces" from the subtitle of the Transportation and Infrastructure forum and have Parks and Public Realm be its own forum, given that the Transportation and Infrastructure forum is mostly about transportation infrastructure. The Parks and Public Realm forum would also have its own database and map. Oh, and Transportation and Infrastructure should be simplified to Transportation.
Maybe not remove Infrastructure from Transportation though... there are some big sewer tunnels and water works projects underway.
 

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