nxt-city-talk Panelists at the inaugural NXT City Talk in June. Photo: NXT City

“Disruption.” That’s the word Toronto Mayor John Tory used to describe what was happening when Pokemon Go players flocked to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, leading to concerns of overcrowding.

It’s just one of the ways technology is impacting — or disrupting — how public space is used, and issues like it are the focus of an event coming to BuzzBuzzHome HQ at 333 Adelaide Street West, suite 600, this Thursday from 6pm to 9pm.

“Smart Spaces: Will tech disrupt public space?” is the second and latest instalment of NXT City Talks 2016, a series of discussions related to the annual NXT City Prize, a design competition for the under-35 crowd that rewards bold visions for public space.

Matthew Slutsky, BuzzBuzzHome’s founder and president, will moderate the talk, which centres around a panel of urban thinkers, including a local politician and several startup founders.

The panelists are Marisa Bernstein, co-founder of Projexity, a platform offering online tools for urban organizations, Dorothy Eng, co-founder of Civic Tech TO, which looks at using technology to solve civic issues, Sonja Miokovic co-founder of YouthfulCities, a youth-centric online urbanism hub, and Josh Matlow, a city councillor for Ward 22 who has advocated for free WiFi in public spaces in the past.

Smart Spaces follows NXT City’s inaugural talk, Off the Ground, which examined ways Toronto’s public space could be better utilized, such as by cleaning up the city’s laneways, earlier this year.

The event also comes on the heels of NXT City Prize’s call for submissions for this year’s contest, which the not-for-profit organization began accepting entries for on August 1st ahead of a looming October 15th deadline.

Last year’s winner was The Urban Dock, a platform that would rest atop breakwater infrastructure and continue Toronto’s waterfront revitalization. The shortlist for this year’s $5,000 NXT City Prize will be announced on October 31st, with the awards ceremony slated for November 4th.

Availability for this week’s NXT City Talk is limited and tickets are $20 before taxes and fees. Buy tickets online here before they sell out.

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