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2007 04 13
Open Cities Toronto 2007

Open Cities is a collaborative initiative fostering creativity, innovation, networked business, open education, and accessible communities in Toronto and elsewhere. The Open Cities vision:
Inspired by open source software, people around the world are embracing open business, culture and education. Open Cities are places that accelerate this process, encouraging investment, implementing policies, creating spaces and holding events that encourage all that is ‘open’. These cities thrive economically while at the same time producing a new generation of artists, teachers and inventors who understand the power of openness and collaboration. They are hubs in the global growth of open societies and economies.
Open Cities Toronto 2007 is a two-day unconference planned for the weekend of June 23 and 24 2007 at the Centre for Social Innovation (215 Spadina) and environs, and is envisioned to intersect with other ongoing events including the June 24th Pedestrian Sundays event in Kensington Market.

Open Cities Toronto 2007 is still in the planning stages. However, the unconference is taking shape as two days of innovative, creative, thoughtful, transgressive, and fun events, including open design, open education, open kids, open neighbours, urban exploration, psychogeographic, puppet-show, hula-hoop, and literary events taking the form of workshops, activities, discussions, interventions, and parties.

Interested in attending or joining in? Want to get involved? You can contact any of the organizers through the Open Cities website.

Some Open Cities collaborators' dreams of the open city (from the Open Cities website):

* “An Open City is where one person’s creative expression plus another’s does not equal that of two people, but of three at least.” Andrew Chiu of 1plus1equals3 (at least)

* “I dream of a city where people who have common interest or common cause can find each other easily and effectively, and that’s well-connected to other cities around the world.” Misha Glouberman

* “My dictionary defines open as not closed or locked or blocked up; allowing entrance or passage or access. I dream of city where groups, decisions and structures are judged on that basis. Where architecture, politics, art, justice, business and life are neither closed, locked or blocked up. Where these things, the city itself, are open for everyone’s benefit.” Patrick Dinnen

* “I dream of a city where innovation changes people’s lives in many ways for the better. In the open city, communities collaborate to exchange knowledge, ideas, and information. Having this open-collaboration will solve many issues that are faced by many; social, political, wealth, health etc. in the open world, everyone is aware of everything; our city will be a global example.” Gunalan Nadarajah

* “I dream of an open and profoundly global city, where hundreds of open communities of interest, practice, proximity, culture and values actively participate in the co-creation of place, culture and meaning.” Mark Kuznicki of Remarkk

* “I dream of a city where technology has strengthened democracy, and has bridged the political gap between citizens and decision-makers, empowering the individual and the community in ways never before realized; I dream of supplying people with tools for action.” Kevin Bracken of Newmindspace

* “I dream of Toronto as a magnet and showcase for the growing movement for ‘open’. It’s known world wide for it’s cutting edge open source software companies, groovy mash up artists and culture mixers, innovative schools experimenting with open curriculum (written by teachers and students), beautiful public spaces and streetscapes, and so much more. Toronto is the place to be for ‘open’.” Mark Surman

* “I dream of a culture where there are no boundaries.One in which everyone interacts in a positive way with each other. I dream of open dialogs between friends, strangers, politicians and enemies alike.” Rochelle Latinsky

* “I dream of a city where communities and individuals feel empowered to pursue their hopes, and are capable of achieving them through collective values, resources and access. Where people, technologies and ideas alike become platforms for possible futures. I dream of an open culture fueled by empathy, integrity and passion, where critical conversations cascade into transformation.” Michele Perras

* “In my dream Toronto, the dynamic, creative, healthy and brave society communicates effectively and across old ‘discipline’ barriers, and then brings its own best ideas to life in a seeming instant. One hesitates to speak of ‘efficient dreaming,’ but this fantasy Toronto is envied by the world not only for its tendency to muse about its future form—as it already does, powerfully—but for being uniquely ready to implement the innovations and improvements born of its citizens’ imaginings.” Kate Lawrie

* “I dream of a city where the physical, technological and political infrastructure enables citizens to create their own projects or contribute to those that are ongoing – be they private, public or non-profit. Where decision making is as flat as and transparent as possible so that an Open City both nourishes and draws from its most valuable resource: its citizens.” David Eaves

* “I dream of a city that makes its own fun; a built environment that whispers subtle invitations for creative intervention. In my city, each person is both dreamer and doer, and the familiar is continuously rediscovered through the actions of countless hearts and minds at play.” Kelly Seagram

* “I dream of a city where fun, creativity, and work are all the same thing; a city of believers of magic and those who make dreams come true for themselves and others. People making up a global culture integrating technology, art and community, learning and teaching simultaneously.” Lori Kufner of Newmindspace

* “Use of the qualifier “open” generally conjures a positive aura. But what would a dream of an open city look like? I would hope that such a dream would allow the splintered post-structures of the contemporary metropolis to provide a flexible framework for innovation, access, hybridity and diversity rather than decline, polarization, anonymity and alienation. Openly collaborative social formations would allow for new processes for planning, art, development, and business that are inclusive, yet creative, leading to new forms of the idea of the “city” itself. ” Charles Finley

* “Openness: horizontality. mutability. creativity. mobility. flexibility. replicability. responsibility. transparency. intimacy.
Open city: a self-aware city, a city of feedback, where democracy is a verb, its etymology open for revision. Where all citizens have access, and where citizen means only that: living in a city.
A city of ferment, which reacts to threats by relaxing, not tensing. Civic judo.
An erosion of distinction between government and governed, economy and culture, have and have-not, I and The Other. Public spaces, decision-making processes, and doors to decent housing, sustainable transit, and meaningful work open to all.
A city of networks, not pyramids. A city of a thousand city halls.” Mike Smith of Toronto Poetry Slam

* The open city I dream of is principled, curious, and brave: it works as well as it plays, asks hard questions and pursues difficult answers over easy ones, welcomes controversy rather than repressing (or shying away from) dissent, rewards honesty, respects privacy, upholds responsibility at the personal and collective level, protects the weak as well as the strong, admits its likes and dislikes, and listens to the quietest of voices. Amy Lavender Harris of Imagining Toronto

Your dream of the Open City? Feel free to add it here and/or here.

The next Open Cities Toronto 2007 planning meeting is scheduled for Thursday May 10th 2007 at 5:30 pm at the Centre for Social Innovation.

[Open image by Kevin Steele and used under the aegis of a Creative Commons license.]
[email this story] Posted by Amy Lavender Harris on 04/13 at 10:34 AM

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