As Toronto's core continues to grow vertically, parks are taking on new roles in the City's landscape. Downtown parks are being reinvented as backyards, front porches and even as public living rooms for new populations in the downtown core. In particular, growing numbers of seniors and families with young children rely on public parks for a good quality of life. But these same parks are also having to address another energetic, rapidly growing and noisy population: dogs.
Most North American cities continue to apply zoning by-laws with parking minimums whose logic and purpose is rooted in the fundamentally different planning, economic, demographic and environmental context of the mid-twentieth century. And yet they persist, even as they routinely and systematically produce urban landscapes ranging from the kind of disappointing to the utterly dystopian.
As municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe continue to grow in population and density, new strategies for creating parks and public spaces in more urban environments are needed. How do we engage communities and program parks when there are so many different users? How do we plan a public space system that is connected and accessible? How do we design public spaces in a flexible way to respond to their urban context?

Pokémon GO - a phenomenon that swept the world this past summer! Cities around the globe experienced an influx of citizens into their public spaces as everyone tried to 'catch-em-all.' Crazed Pokémon trainers wandered the city swiping their phones and battling to win gyms, ultimately searching for the coveted Pikachu.

Conflict that we experience from day-to-day is a natural and normal part of life. Professional planners are aware that experiencing conflict is an inevitable part of the job, which drives the need for innovative solutions to mitigate, manage and resolve conflict. Here are 5 practical tips for minimizing and managing conflict in your professional practice.
Have you heard of the Healthy Rural Communities Toolkit? It's a guide for rural municipalities that helps recognize the characteristics commonly associated with rural communities. It provides examples of innovative practices, and land use and development strategies that can help to enhance the built environment and contribute to positive quality of life and health outcomes.
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