JANE’S WALK….REGENT PARK

“At the heart of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities was the idea that a successful city was a city that was alive with diversity: diversity of people but also a diversity of activities, ideas and uses, all jumbled together in what she described as a living “organized chaos.” For Jacobs, city diversity was good for business. It meant that various people with various interests and of various backgrounds were always nearby, creating new opportunities and new connections which otherwise would not have been possible. Jacobs described four elements found in every thriving neighbourhood that worked together to generate a neighbourhood’s economic and social diversity. No one factor was enough to produce an economically healthy or active place. Jacobs considered each essential to a city district’s vitality. The relationship between mixed primary uses, short blocks, aged buildings and a concentration of people is complex; subtract any one and the neighbourhood suffers. “

http://www.janeswalk.net/history/the_four_generators_of_diversity

What a glorious weekend wandering the streets of Regent Park with all the incredible people who are building this community. In all the months traveling through the streets  recording the demolition and reconstruction I could see through the lens the possibilities,  today the passion was infectious during the walk and the presentations.

As I often have in the past few months,  I revisited the tree that stands on Dundas Street, at the soon to be entrance to the “Big Park”.  Its canopy blooming,  beckoning us to envision  playscapes, waterscapes, a market place, a dog park,  community gardens and edible tress and herbs

An  Urban Foodscape

The images above are the constructed and soon to be constructed sites of the Tour :

Not in order.

 Centre for Learning  540 Dundas Street. We viewed  digital stories, photographs and short films created by residents.

Regent Park FocusYouth Media Arts Centre  was  established in 1990 as part of a provincial government initiative to promote health in vulnerable communities across Ontario and is affiliated with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Motivated by the belief that community arts and participatory media practices play a vital role in building and sustaining healthy communities. Regent Park Focus seeks to increase civic engagement and inspire positive change by giving youth the tools and support to create artistic works and media productions.

Youth are encouraged to work collectively to develop resources that explore issues of relevance to them and their communities. These resources, along with the process of creating them, increase personal well-being, contribute to community health and address systemic barriers to equitable social participation.

http://www.catchdaflava.com/content/aboutus.html

The Dreamers Peace Garden, Elsaida Douglas established a collection of nine women whose sons have been killed by gunfire in the housing project Her idea was to assemble a women’s support group to come up with ways to battle the rising tide of drugs and violence ” I believe we have to do something.”  “You’re dreaming,” one of the other women replied. “Maybe I am,” Ms. Douglas said. “But someone better.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/regent-revival/article877509/page3/

14 Blevins Place : One of the five Peter Dickinson Modernist Masionette Towers; two have already been demolished, three still stand. (See previous post for more indepth information about the architect and the Towers.)

Neslon Mandela Public School Renovation in progress, built in 1853 renamed in 2001 to honour Mandela’s visit to the schoool.

Aquatic Centre 

28,000 sq feet, 6 lane 25 metre training tank diving board and Tarzan rope ,shallow leasure pool with water features, water slide with splash tank, warm water therapy tank, direct walkouts from the deck to outdoor terrace overlooking the park, green roof.

“Big Park”  Proposed

4.3 Acre, New playground, Off leash dog area, Community garden, Fruit trees, Central playing field with side slopes for seating and viewing stage, Edible Gardens.

Artist Dan Bergeron has been commissioned to photograph portraits of people in Regent Park and mount them on porcelain tile surrounding the stage.

Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre (See previous post for further information)

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