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?
As the 2016 OPPI Symposium in Hamilton draws near, planners from around Ontario will gather to learn and share ideas around Planning for the Public Realm. In concert with this, OPPI is releasing a Call to Action that encourages planners, designers, the various levels of government, municipal departments and agencies, other related professionals and members of the public to make the public realm a focus in community building and placemaking efforts across Ontario.