The 2017 NXT City Prize winners were announced this week, unveiling three amazing ideas for transforming Toronto’s public space.
The annual competition engages designers, architects, artists, engineers, and all other creative thinkers to reimagine how public space in the city can be used. This was the first year that there were site specific categories.
The categories included the Wellington Destructor Site, the Liberty Market Galleria, The Bentway, and Civic Tech. Due to a lack of submissions, NXT did not award a winner for The Bentway.
Wellington Destructor Site
Winner for the Wellington Destructor Site was Global Seed Vault by Suzan Ibrahim and Richard Lam. The Destructor was formerly used to burn garbage, and the winning idea flips that concept on its head, making it a house of new life.
The Global Seed Vault would contain, protect, and preserve an extensive variety of seeds from around the world. There would be billions of seeds! The facility would be open to the public so people could admire the collections and samples of plants.
Liberty Market Galleria
Liberty Lights by Daniel Watchorn, Yasmin Afshar, Christina Glass, and Eunice Yong was the winning idea for the Liberty Market Galleria.
According to the submission, Liberty Lights would create “a bustling locale which both residents and visitors are drawn to. Light has the power to attract, invite, illuminate, shine, heal, and make things new. By using light, the space can be transformed into a vibrant and dynamic beacon of Liberty Village.”
The lighting display would serve as a beacon for Liberty Village, encouraging people to shop, walk, lounge, and play!
For the Civic Tech category, anything technology based was accepted. The winner was Public Space Permits by Lucas DeClavasio and Andrew Patterson, co-owners of local design agency, Wysp Creative.
It’s worth noting this team won the 2016 NXT City Prize with the Streetcar Safety Murals proposal, which is supposed to be implemented into the King Street Pilot. This makes them the first ever two-time winners of the NXT City Prize!
Rather than targeting a specific public space, Public Space Permits aims to improve access to public spaces through awareness via the digitization of the permit application process. The mobile app would be a place where you could find rentable public spaces, check availability, and pay for permits.
We hope these ideas actually materialize to make Toronto an even better place to call home!