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November 16, 2006
Toronto students to revitalize Chicago neighbourhood
Toronto design students are heading to Chicago on Friday, November 17 to collaborate on a multi-disciplinary design project to transform transitional urban communities.

The event, which pairs six Toronto design students with their Chicago counterparts, was born from a Partnership City relationship between Toronto and Chicago, and a commitment to do joint projects. Participating students hail from George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries, and the City Design Centre of the University of Illinois, with specialties in design, urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture and social development.

By incorporating principals from Massive Change - the Future of Global design exhibition developed by Toronto’s Bruce Mau, of Bruce Mau Design and George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries, the students will propose revitalization concepts for a youth-oriented park in a west-side Chicago community. An international jury will judge the final designs on creativity and integrative thinking in addressing social and sustainability issues.

In preparation, students will tour Garfield Park and attend the “Massive Change and the City: Global Visionaries Symposium” at the Harris Theatre at Millennium Park. Student teams will develop their design concepts in preparation for the jury review.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the capabilities and ingenuity of Toronto’s design students, while at the same time working collaboratively with another jurisdiction on city building,” said Don Eastwood, General Manager, Economic Development, Culture and Tourism. “Toronto is proud to offer a wide variety of design education opportunities for talented individuals.”

The City of Toronto’s Economic Development, Culture and Tourism staff worked with the Toronto Design Exchange to create and co-ordinate the design charrette. The plan is for a reciprocal charrette to take place in 2007 that will focus on a City of Toronto priority neighbourhood to be facilitated by the City’s International Alliance Program and Community Development staff.

Additional partners include, the UIC Urban Planning and Policy Program, UIC Department of Architecture, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Landscape Architecture, City of Chicago’s Chicago Sister Cities International Program, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bruce Mau Design, and Canadian Architect magazine.

The City of Toronto’s Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Division supports and assists existing businesses, potential investors and business associations; supports cultural organizations and develops policies to enhance creative industries and offerings; and strives to position Toronto as a dynamic and vibrant international tourist destination with innovative attractions and facilities, and fosters the development of globally significant events and festivals.

About the City of Toronto’s International Alliance Program (IAP)
Toronto’s IAP program is designed to foster formal and informal relationships with global cities to strengthen economic, cultural, tourism, and multicultural links internationally and to share best practices. The program also works to forge informal international relationships and networks for the purpose of investment attraction.

About the Design Exchange
The Design Exchange is Canada’s design museum. Its mission is to build awareness for design in all disciplines, which it achieves by presenting exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and education programs and by carrying out research. It is also a registered charitable organization, a member of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, the Ontario Museum Association and Tourism Toronto. For more information about Design Exchange programs, please call Paola Poletto at 416-216-2155, or visit

About Chicago Sister Cities International Program (CSCIP)
The CSCIP, under the auspices of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, provides leadership to develop, manage, and co-ordinate comprehensive programs and projects with Chicago’s sister cities. It aims to increase international trade, promote economic development and support exchanges in the fields of culture, education, medicine, social services, environment, and technology with its sister cities for the benefit of the City of Chicago, its residents and businesses. For more information about the Chicago Sister Cities International Program, please call 1-312-744-2172, or visit

Media contacts:
Christina Kakaflikas, Investment Advisor, International, City of Toronto
Economic Development, 416-397-5409
Samantha Sannella, President and CEO, Design Exchange, 416-216-2145
Natalie Campbell, Communications Manager, Chicago Sister Cities International
Program, 312-744-2172



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