The second NXT City Talks will take place soon – check here for details.
On June 27th 2016, NXT City kicked off the first NXT City Talks, a series of lively panel discussions bringing together some of the most prominent movers and shakers in public space. Off The Ground: New Models For Innovative Public Space, took over the Gladstone ballroom to explore how bold public space developments can go from conceptual idea to shovels in the ground (or gondolas in the sky, as it turns out).
Moderated by the ever-dynamic Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, the panel consisted of:
- Ken Greenberg (Project: Under Gardiner)
- Steven Dale (The Don Valley Cable Car)
- Sarah Heynen (The Don River Valley Park)
- Marc Garner (Yonge Love and the pedestrianization of Yonge Street)
The panellists dove into a sharp discussion. Key takeaways included the incredible potential for developing Toronto’s extensive network of laneways and ravines into vibrant public spaces, the need for more high quality public spaces to meet the demands of a swelling downtown population as well as a sincere call to action for young people to be bold and persistent to bring their ideas forward by any means.
The night also included a presentation by the NXT City directors on where the organization is headed in 2016 and beyond. The NXT City team is really excited for what’s in store this year. There was also a fantastic presentation by the winners of the 2015 NXT City Prize as well as notes from Lachlan MacQuarrie, Vice President of Oxford Properties, which gave us the excellent phrase “finishiative”, the ability to actually execute an idea to the finish and a great lesson in that if we can put a skating rink on top of a major downtown skyscraper, the sky’s the limit when thinking of and developing incredible public spaces.
The audience was energized and attentive, proving that this issue is one this City is passionate about. Toronto’s incredible transformation is by no means complete and the people of this City are keenly aware that a high quality public realm is necessary for a great quality of life in a bustling metropolis like Toronto.
We can’t wait until next time.