By Adrian Morrow
Associate News Editor
Ryerson is inviting students from around the world to redesign Gould Street, with a $5,000 prize as an incentive.
President Sheldon Levy revealed last year he hoped to kick cars off parts of Gould and turn the street that bisects Ryerson’s campus into a pedestrian area.
This summer, architecture professor Andrew Furman announced that he was organizing an international students-only design competition to find a new vision for the street.
“I’m excited to get an international perspective on Gould,” Furman said, adding that students as far away as Japan were interested in submitting designs to the competition. “I’m hoping some design studios will use it as a school project. It’s a great opportunity for [design students] to start their careers.”
Furman said he already has some idea of what a future Gould could look like.
He hopes that the designs will feature public space for basketball games, concerts and outdoor theatre. The designs will be judged by a panel including professors and a Toronto city planner.
The competition closes Sept. 17, and the winners will be announced on Oct. 2 to coincide with Walk 21, a pedestrian conference taking place in Toronto that week. The city is paying attention to the competition, Furman said.
“There is an increasing emphasis on putting pedestrians on top of the hierarchy when it comes to design,” said Matthew Cowley, co-ordinator of Walk 21, adding that Toronto city planners want to prioritize pedestrians in new developments.
There’s no guarantee that the winning design will be used to redesign Gould, but Furman said Levy and the administration have been supporting the competition and might incorporate the design into the Master Plan.
Levy hopes that the entries will find a way to allow vehicles to access the school while still having a pedestrian zone.
“Most of all, I’d like to see from students something that I never dreamed possible.
“A new idea that I would say, ‘Wow, no one had ever thought of that,’” he said.
“I would like to see all of us be challenged to put people ahead of cars.”