- Measuring Beauty: Toronto’s Clean & Beautiful City Initiative   click here to open paper content993 kb
by    Kapelos, George & Parker, Elyse | gkapelos@ryerson.ca   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Toronto embarked on a program to create a clean & beautiful city, shifting responsibility for beautification from public to private sector. Case studies explore the impact of beautification on community identity & public-private partnerships.
Traditionally, beauty is viewed subjectively, influenced by cultural / historical / philosophical constructs. Clean is measurable, but can we determine if Toronto is becoming more beautiful? This project seeks to provide a framework for defining measures of beauty, gathering data on these measures, exploring case studies and providing outcomes that would assist shape municipal policy, future initiatives and benchmarking in the area of beauty.

This project utilizes qualitative research, relying upon studied observation and interview, survey material review and case study analysis. This inductive approach seeks to identify key themes, develop coding schemes (as applicable) leading to a synthesis of material on aspects of beauty. The focus of the project is on Toronto’s public realm notably the city street and spaces related to street, which have become “orphaned” in the cityscape. These corridors and orphan spaces are the most visible but most challenging loci for beautification.

Among the initiatives of the City to address the beautification of the public realm were small-scale urban projects, which provided community groups with funding for local “beautification” projects. Some of these projects have gained notoriety in their communities and have had a positive impact on community pride. As catalysts for renewal and “beautification” these projects are viewed as significant.

The project has identified and documented a number of completed projects as case studies and stakeholders associated with these projects have been interviewed. The project poses the question whether it is possible to establish goals, objectives and measurable outcomes for delivering beauty in an urban context. If so, how do stakeholders influence the decision making process? Is Toronto a “beautiful” city? Is the C&B initiative making Toronto more “beautiful”? If so, how can this be measured?
beautification, public-private partnerships, urban design
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