Discussing Design Solutions for Tower Neighbourhoods: Professional Workshop for Thorncliffe & Flemingdon

April 1, 2015

On March 25th, the Active Neighbourhoods Ontario team along with 50 interdisciplinary professionals convened at the new Ismaili Community Centre to discuss the possibilities for better street & public space design. The workshop focused on the opportunities and challenges present in Thorncliffe and Flemingdon, drawing on the past 8 months of community engagement and research done through the Active Neighbourhoods Project.

The day began with two presentations by Dr. Paul Hess and Graeme Stewart, both who have done extensive research on tower neighbourhoods in the GTHA. Paul Hess’s presentation encouraged a move past the ideal of ‘cafe latte urbanism’ that suits populations in downtown cores, and find healthy solutions that can be tailored to different types of urban fabric and to different demographics. Graeme Stewart presented a rich overview of the historical roots of tower neighbourhoods and current revitalization efforts, drawing on experiences in Europe where this building type is much more prevalent.

The Active Neighbourhoods Project Manager & Design Lead, Car Martin followed the presentations with an overview of the ‘Portrait‘ which is a document that compiles the information gathered in phase 1 of the ANC project. This lead into the afternoon where participants were divided into groups to work on specific problem areas.

Overall the workshop was a huge success, with lots of positive feedback and ideas flowing. We were also very pleased to be hosted by the Ismaili Community Centre as a part of their current programming theme: Arrival Cities.

Stay tuned for further info as we work on synthesizing all the ideas and planning citizen forums to tweak these ideas!

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