Arup Provides Transportation Consulting to Open Streets Toronto

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2014 /CNW/ -- Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, announced today its participation in the city's first Open Streets Toronto (OpenStreetsTO) program. As part of a volunteer community working group, Arup evaluated traffic impacts and provided traffic diversion plans for the two four-hour events. OpenStreetsTO will take place on August 17th and 31st from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon along Bloor and Yonge Streets.

Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs.

"Arup was thrilled to participate in the planning of this year's OpenStreetsTO," said Matthew Browning, MEng, an Arup senior transportation consultant. "Our office is at the intersection of Bloor and Yonge, which reflects our position at the heart of the city. This event embodies our culture of encouraging active transportation and our desire to promote new initiatives for how people move around the city."

The Open Streets program, which is known as a Ciclovia throughout the world, closes a portion of a city's streets to vehicular traffic and opens it to pedestrian and bicycle transportation. Along Toronto's planned route, regular street-front shops will remain open to stimulate economic opportunities. It is an ongoing initiative by the City of Toronto to encourage urban health and community outreach by connecting members of the community through pedestrian interaction. Work group members hope that the 2014 event will get people used to the idea of pedestrian transportation with the expectation it will eventually become a part of city life.

"What if everything we did in public spaces had to be fantastic for the 8 and the 80-year olds? Then we would end up with a pretty good community for all," said Gil Penalosa, founder of 8-80 Cities, at TEDxCarlton in 2011. "Quality of life is the most important tool for economic competitiveness and change offers wonderful opportunities."

Open Streets began in Medellin, Colombia, and has since spread to many international cities, including several throughout the US and Canada. The OpenStreetsTO workgroup was comprised of the following local participants:

  • Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam championed the event, providing municipal support and a main point of contact for the executive board and local vendors
  • 8-80 Cities: Based in Toronto. Provides leadership to Open Streets programs throughout the world
  • Sports Focused Consulting provided project management
  • Arup provided traffic management and planning
  • rA provided urban planning
  • Senayah provided community facilitation and activity coordination
  • Autoshare donated the 30-second video promoting the program
  • Ciclovia provided social media publicity

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About Arup

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world's most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. Its engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world. Arup opened its first US office 25 years ago, and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. The firm was founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values that fosters a distinctive culture, intellectual independence and collaborative approach. The people at Arup are driven to find a better way to deliver better solutions for their clients. (

For further information please contact:

Rebecca Maloney, LEED AP, CPSM 
+1 617 412-6632

Jennifer Shelby, CPSM 
Rhino PR 
+1 508 685 0763

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