Montreal & Toronto: In Canada, branding strategist Eli Singer is banking on social networks to connect the extremely tech-savvy residents (he says 70% of Toronto’s population is on Facebook–can that be possible?). Spacing is a publication–online and off–focused on urban issues that affect public spaces to provide opportunities for residents to get involved. Spacing‘s blogs became so popular, with such passionate commenters, the publication capitalized on that energy with ThinkTORONTO, an urban ideas competition, that published concepts from readers for the city, as well as exhibiting the proposals in Toronto’s City Hall.
San Diego: Even though it feels like paradise (foggy skies just parted to reveal a sunny, 70-degree day), Aaron Contorer says that many people who move to San Diego are disappointed with the lack of engaged community. He found out that what most transplants felt San Diego lacked was good public transportation, so MoveSD focused on developing a massive transit proposal that uses dedicated busways in a radical new way. A group he founded, Equinox Center, is a nonprofit that works on improving environmental and sustainable issues that they believe affect that elusive “quality of life” quotient in San Diego.