Main Street Design Challenge releases online playbook

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) have released a collection of design solutions that can be implemented during and after the pandemic in the Main Street Design Challenge Playbook.

The Main Street Design Challenge invited all Canadian residents interested in place-making and design to develop solutions that can help build the resiliency of Canada’s main streets.

Over the past four months, 47 designs were submitted from architects, urban designers, students, planners, community animators, and artists.

“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.

The Playbook showcases creative and practical interventions, from masterplans to 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, ON)
Socially | Equitable | Landscape, by student 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, AB)
Fresh Start: Back To Basics by community animator DeeDee Nelson, who gives 10 actions to build trust in community (Vancouver, BC)

The Main Street Design Challenge reflects the importance of design in revitalizing our streets, including kickstarting 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.

“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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