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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
The presentation “City Nature” brings Emily Reisman of leading Canadian planning firm Urban Strategies Inc together with Rasmus Astrup of world-renowned international landscape architect firm SLA. Together, they will share their insights, strategies, and best-practice learnings from working together on two of Canada’s biggest and most high-profile urban planning projects: Downsview and Quayside.
The session will address how a new joint approach to planning and landscape architecture is severely needed — an approach based on social equity, nature-based solutions, broad inclusion, and inherently sustainable and resilient design — and how such an approach can create a paradigm shift in the way we design places and spaces in the cities of tomorrow.
In the presentation, Emily and Rasmus describe how the City Nature approach deviates from standard practices to achieve broad goals, and where it builds on work already common in our professions, the challenges for its implementation, and the immense benefits of it being broadly embraced. They will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes insights on their work on two of Canada’s biggest and most complex urban development projects:
City Nature is the fundamental idea behind the proposed framework plan for the redevelopment of over 520-acres including Downsview Airport in the heart of Toronto. The presentation will show how two years of community engagement — interrupted and affected by the COVID pandemic — was used to develop the project’s values together with the diverse neighbourhoods.
At Quayside, City Nature is driving the development for a unique waterfront precinct. Here, it combines public life, biodiversity, sense of place, flexible planning, and great architecture in a joint design approach.
Both Emily and Rasmus will use their considerable public presentation skills to engage the audience who will leave with new ideas of the ways forward for the planning and landscape architecture professions.