cities | June 18, 2013

Dear City: Shawn Micallef Transforms Public Spaces Through Tweets

Do you have something to say about your city? Spacing magazine (co-owned by cities speaker Shawn Micallef) has launched Dear City Canada, a project enabling you to share what you love—or wish you could change—about your city with people on Twitter. Earlier this month, anyone who wrote an 140 character letter to their city was retweeted by @DearCityCanada. All of the tweets received before the cutoff date are now being displayed in malls across the country. They'll also be posted on billboards starting in July. Dear City Canada isn't currently taking any new submissions, but people can still engage with the messages that have already been posted.

"Spacing is excited by this project because it gets more art into public spaces," Micallef told The Ottawa Citizen.   Candy Chang's work also bridges the gap between art and civic engagement. In her Neighborland project, citizens are asked a simple question: What do you want to see in your neighborhood? By sharing their suggestions online, participants can develop a connection with their neighbors. And, they can rally together to make things happen in their community.
Shawn Micallef explores the things that make cities (and the people who inhabit them) tick in his writing at Spacing and The Toronto Star. He looks at what's working, what's not working, and how we can come together to improve our urban communities. He also gives keynotes on these issues. He's recently taken the stage at events like The Walrus Talks and TEDx. Wholly accessible, Micallef delivers a unique take on modern urban society and how we can make the cities we reside in great places to live.

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