Infrastructure and our way of life

Photo by Flickr user cantabjrc -

Photo by Flickr user cantabjrc –

Following last week’s lecture with Ryan Gravel of the Atlanta BeltLine, we sat down with Toronto Park People and Ryan Gravel to dig deeper into some of the ideas presented during the talk. Ryan shared insight on the power of catalyst infrastructure to shift cultural expectations of the city, the potential of shared public works projects to garner support across neighbourhoods and levels of government, and highlighted some promising ideas for Toronto’s trails.

The full interview has been posted to Spacing‘s national blog.

Innovative projects catalyze a new kind of thinking and start a new cycle — it’s not just that the physical environment shapes our cultural perspectives, but also that our cultural perspectives shape the kind of infrastructure that we build. We need to have these interruptions [like catalyst infrastructure projects] to change that cycle.

What many of the more compelling projects have in common is a really compelling story. It’s more than just infrastructure, it’s a whole story about what kind of place you want to be when you grow up. The ravines seem to be a great story in Toronto. They serve a whole watershed and they drain into the lake, so the city is here for a reason, and it’s built in that particular spot between those spaces for a reason.

Read the full interview here.