The citizen’s eye view of Breakthrough cities
Evergreen Brick Works garden, with part of leaning chimney on right Evergreen, smiles Peter (Love), John (Brodhead), Geoff (Cape) Chairs In session, Aaron on right Discussion One wall, of four walls that were seeing similar activity Roofscape Reception (detail) Bridge Graffito
Our final Toronto session was out at the Evergreen Brick Works, an extraordinary reclamation project that is greening the quarry and brickworks that produced most of the bricks used to build the city. Astronishing project. Find out more about the story here. This really is an extraordinary social enterprise: can’t wait to go back and take a proper prowl around. Wonderful to see a little of Char’s father Peter, too.
This last event in our Toronto series focused on cities and was orgnaised by Evergreen CityWorks, led by John Brodhead. They had convened a group of perhaps 20 Toronto citizens to explore issues related to the city, and to Breakthrough urban innovation. Having originally trained as a city planner at UCL, I felt I was coming full circle.
A fascinating session, and I was sad to have to leave part-way through to take a cab into the city for an interview with CBC. Luckily Char made it across — her youngest son Peter has been ill (and this would prevent her and her sons flying back for over week, as events would turn out) — for the afternoon part of the session. We were both inspired to think how we might use similar processes in our wider Breakthrough work, hopefully working alongside our Canadian friends and partners.
But thrilled to have the opportunity to have a wonderful lunch, with a delicious craft beer (it was Friday) with Evergreen co-founder and Executive Director Geoff Cape. Afterwards, he and I took a rapid walk around some of the site, allowing me to snap some of the facilities and the space still to be developed.
Loved the graffiti, including one of what may have been a wolf, which was appropriate since a mental image that came to mind at one point during the citizens’ panel session, at a moment when there was something of a existential outpouring on the proliferation of choices in our consumer societies, had been that of a howling grey wolf.