Project for Public Spaces

Stephanie Mah, Giaimo’s Creative Director and Past-President of Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Toronto Branch, will be a speaker at the upcoming 4th International Placemaking Week Conference in Baltimore, USA, June 5-8, 2024 organized by the Project for Public Spaces and co-hosted by the Neighbourhood Design Centre. Placemaking Week is a global gathering of placemakers that emphasizes hands-on learning and innovative social events, while leaving behind a public space legacy in host cities.

Stephanie will be presenting The Oculus Revitalization project by Giaimo and ACO Toronto as part of the session Building Toronto Together: Co-Creating Equitable Social Infrastructure in the Inner Suburbs on Wednesday June 5 at 3:45pm-5. The session and panel discussion will be co-moderated by Cara Chellew of Placemaking Canada and Wes Reibeling of Park People, and also includes speakers Ima Esin of STEPS Public Art, Jaclyn Rodrigues of Toronto Arts Foundation and Naziha Nasrin of plazaPOPS. We will convene four projects in a discussion with Placemaking Canada illustrating how “make due” urbanism and grassroots placemaking build “quick-win” solutions and create positive social impacts like building social capital, deepening community connections, and activating public space in peri-urban areas. Toronto, Canada’s largest cities, is one of the loneliest. The exacerbation of existing socio-economic and systemic challenges contribute to a decrease in support for marginalized communities, and downward trending civic participation. Instead of relying on failing city budgets and services, citizens, designers, and grassroots organizations have stepped up as leaders to support each other with community-centred solutions. These projects showcase how equitable, collaborative and community-led co-creation empowers communities to build their own spaces that support the development of social infrastructure through learning, playing and gathering. Explore three Toronto placemaking projects that decenter the urban core in favour of the periphery and connect underserved communities to accessible and joyful public spaces.

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