Daan Roosegaarde beautifies Toronto

OpenCity Projects recently met with Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and asked him how he would beautify Toronto?

DR: Well, it’s not so much about beautifying, it’s about reforming it in a way. When you look at the grid and when you look at the city, it’s quite weird in a way in that you don’t feel the architecture you feel the roads.
Because of the narrow streets and the grid repeating itself. So to think about the road as an interface of information, of experience. How can we give the bicycle some sort of priority or some sort of allure or beauty? So I would just build the largest self emitting bike lane in the world. But what is mostly important is that people don’t feel like a tax payer but as a citizen. And so they are willing to engage to co-create. Not so it’s the government that should take care of it, but to think like a network and to trigger people. And especially because you move from the city centre to the parts around it, it’s a fragmented part, you see this in the elections and all these kind of things. So how can you make public space a domain to create a collective feeling, that’s an incredible and exciting challenge for a mayor for a city official, but also for the creative industry for a designer. So we should spend some time on that because it’s important.

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