Journal of Urban Culture Research

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The Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS) Initiative's Emerging ARTivist program provides a platform for young people from some of Canada's most diverse and low-income communities to animate public spaces in their communities. This program has not only improved the urban experiences of local City of Toronto residents, but has built the capacity of youth as civic leaders engaged in urban design issues; empowered to transform the their urban environment. Alongside their award-winning youth led arts collective (the Toronto Emerging ARTivists), the STEPS Initiative has led the installation of several large-scale permanent art, including the World's Tallest Mural, transforming Toronto's skyline, and a 400 linear foot Fence Reclamation Project along a pedestrian corridor. This paper will discuss lesson learned by STEPS, in their engagement of youth and residents of all ages in the conception, planning, and implementation of these projects.



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