Amid the impersonal modern metropolis, it is easy to underestimate the value of localised, individual action.
A compelling new exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, ’Actions: what you can do with the city’, examines 97 everyday urban events (walking, playing, recycling, gardening etc) reconceptualised by architects, artists and other creatives to demonstrate their potential power in shaping our cities and altering the rhythm of our everyday lives.


See photos of some of the projects
The projects all utilize cheap, simple items within most people’s reach – paint, umbrellas, photocopiers, phones, and garbage cans. Or even just a fit pair of legs and some decent running shoes. The main image above (#32: Walls Turned into Ground) depicts ‘traceurs’ in Montreal engaging in parkour, a style of movement in which participants interact with their built environment in unorthodox ways, overcoming obstacles and discovering hidden routes to move around cities quickly and efficiently.
Other inventive projects include an ’umbrella house’ in Milan by architect Kengo Kuma (#8), food foraging between train tracks (#11) and in-supermarket garbage bins (#12), instant children’s playgrounds (#1), ’anti-sitting’ devices to keep New Yorkers upright (#43), San Francisco metre parking spaces transformed into two-hour public parks (#86), the high line elevated park redevelopment in lower Manhattan (#28), and an urban soccer field in the UAE (#79) – to view the full list click here.