Livable City Design Awards

livable city, Kingston, ON, City of Kingston, designThere is almost always a debate regarding achitecture and design in cities as old as ours.  Should we preserve original buildings or build new ones?  How can we incorporate new establishments into a historical downtown?  How do we work around century old roads and brick walls?  Much of that debate has been carried on right here with discussions surrounding new buildings such as Jack Astor’s and the incorporation of Milestones in the old S&R.  Whether or not we are supporters of new takes on old spaces, I think we can all agree that we prefer to see something happen to old buildings rather than leaving them empty.

The Livable City Design Awards shine a spotlight on that very idea and aim to “celebrate Kingston’s long tradition of architectural excellence and creative urban management.”  The goal of the awards program is to recognize and publicize creative and excellent work in urban design, and to assist in raising the image of the city.
Winners from the 2011 Livable City Awards included Phase 1 of the Princess Street Reconstruction (foot of Princess), the development of Battery Park (3 Gore St.), Calvin Park Library (88 Wright Cres.), the rejuvenation of Market Square (216 Ontario St.), the Utilities Kingston Water Conservation Garden (1211 John Counter Blvd.), Kingston Police Headquarters (705 Division St.) and Renaissance Event Venue (285 Queen St.), to name a few.  You can see the full list here.  Winners are determined using various criteria as outlined on the city’s website:
Significance: City Wide Scale – Contribution to the City’s design objectives as related to the City’s image, visual identity, vistas, skyline and streetscapes;
Significance: Community Scale – Contribution to the quality of the environment within a community, the demonstration of regard for the context of the locale, and enhancing a sense of place and personal safety or reinforcing a unique history;
Innovation – The degree of creative response to project requirements and site constraints, and the ability to influence trends;
Context – The relationship or blending of built form and spaces with existing and planned development, and respect for, enhancement of, the area’s character;
Execution – The quality of construction materials, and the interpretation of the design into reality;
Green Design – Demonstrates an integrated approach to design that supports environmental and sustainable site and building practices; and,
Accessibility – Displays a high standard of Universal Design principles as set out in the City of Kingston Official Plan.
The winners are selected by a jury of architects, urban planners, preservation consultants, landscape architects and Kingstonians.  The voting for this year’s Livable City Design Awards has begun and you are invited to have your say in the People’s Choice category.  This year’s 22 nominees include restaurants, storefronts, private homes, apartments and schools, and vary from restorations to brand new buildings.  Have a look and place your vote today.  We’d love to hear what you think about the nominations: Do you like the choices?  Is there an important design missing from the list?  Who did you vote for and why?  Drop off a comment below.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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