The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) have released the Main Street Design Challenge Playbook, a collection of design solutions that can be implemented during and after the COVID-19 pandemic to help Canada’s hard-hit main streets.
The Main Street Design Challenge invited Canadian residents interested in place-making and design to develop solutions to help build the resiliency of Canada’s main streets. Over the past four months, 47 designs were submitted from a variety of sources, ranging from well-known architects and urban designers to students, planners, community animators, and artists.
The playbook showcases a range of creative and practical interventions, from masterplans and art installations to modular street furniture. Some examples include:
- The Augusta Avenue/Kensington Market BIA Public Realm Masterplan by SUMO Project, Gladki Planning Associates, Greenberg Consulting Inc., and PMA Landscape Architects (Toronto);
- The Reading Hut by A4 architecture + design, a modular cabin that can be sited near libraries to allow readers a private place to read or meditate (Gatineau, Qué);
- Socially | Equitable | Landscape by students Joy Olagoke and Subrahmanya Sai Anudeep Mummareddy, a design that transforms outdoor spaces, the undersides and sides of buildings into canvases for art and culture that can be explored safely (Calgary, Alta.); and
- Fresh Start: Back To Basics by community animator DeeDee Nelson, who gives 10 actions to build trust in community (Vancouver).
The Main Street Design Challenge reflects the importance of design in revitalizing our streets, including kick-starting the economy, fostering vibrant, liveable, and healthy communities, increasing public safety, reducing social isolation, and restoring the public’s confidence to return to streets and public spaces, CUI said in a press release.
“We are delighted to see the range and variety of these design submissions from across Canada, which we hope will be picked up and used to help main streets recover,” said Mary W. Rowe, CEO of CUI.
Click here to download the playbook. All designs are free to use, though contacting the creators is encouraged. The playbook contains links to implementation details and other information on the CUI website.
“We are thrilled with the uptake from the design community to engage in such an important activity to support vital Canadian main streets,” said RAIC president John Brown, FRAIC.
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