Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Big Brother We Can Believe In

I just want to put in a plug for the Toronto Public Space Committee (TPSC). A self-appointed watchdog of sights and sounds in the public sphere, TPSC first drew my attention with its campaign to rid the city of ugly chain link fences, framing its work in terms of community development: "A self-imposed rusty barrier between neighbours, properties surrounded by chain link look more like jailyards than homes. Fences create feelings of isolation and detachment. By taking them down, we encourage a process of community building." Other campaigns include the "billboard battalion" to hold the city accountable for its strict rules about outdoor advertising (already on the books, but inconsistently enforced) and "city for sale" that is working to ensure that names of city parks, subway stations, libraries, community centres and other public spaces are not sold off and that ethics guidelines are established to inform decisions about corporate sponsorships and donations. Please join me in donating or volunteering to this worthy cause.

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