Electromagnetic Fields

(research.)  While visiting Toronto to speak at the 10th World Congress on Design & Health, I felt an electromagnetic pull toward a power transmission corridor outside the central city. Canadians call these “hydro corridors” because they mostly carry hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls. I joined the city’s bikeshare and headed north to check out a 3.1-mile (5.0-km) line that runs from the north edge of the Annex to Davenport Village and has been dubbed the “Green Line” by community advocates. I found children playing, bicycles, rabbits, birds, and butterflies. The power lines flow overhead, but on the ground, 18 or so little fields have been adapted over time for different purposes. Each is outlined by streets or railroad tracks. Some have become playgrounds or community gardens, but others remain parking lots or unused land. Besides the power lines, there was nothing to tie these fields together until Helena Grdadolnik came along. She’s a resident of the community and a designer at Workshop Architecture, and she began to imagine them as a connected greenway. With the support of Park People, they held an ideas competition in 2012 that has jump-started a fresh dialog about the Green Line’s future.  >> Ryan Gravel

green line 1 green line 2

green line 3 green line 4

Check out the Green Line’s competition website and Toronto Park People. I also gave a talk about catalyst infrastructure at the Centre for City Ecology.

Map it: in the middle at Geary and Salem Avenues.

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