TCLF: Leading with Landscape Conference Presentation – Panel 2 Moderator: Bruce Kuwabara

Compelling and visionary designers and others examine Toronto’s international leadership in landscape architecture-based development. Provocative, headline-making speakers at this May 2015 conference in Toronto highlighted exceptional design and sustainability in world-class waterfront projects, the city’s extensive ravine system and it legacy of parks. To learn more about the conference:

Torontonians felt a measure of pride but also skepticism when The Economist recently ranked Toronto as the “best place to live.” Now the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is experiencing the greatest growth spurt in its history. With approximately 100,000 new immigrants arriving per year, it is also thriving as one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. But the growing income gap between rich and poor has redefined the urban geography, with the most affluent concentrated in the downtown
and the poorly paid pushed out to the suburbs, without convenient access to public transit. No longer “Toronto the Good” or “New York Run by the Swiss,” our structural and management challenges are immense, particularly in the chronic lack of vision and funding for public transit and infrastructure.

David Crombie, Toronto’s “tiny, perfect mayor” from 1972 to 1978 declared that the future of the city is the public realm. Emerging from the recent volatility of the Ford era and entering a period of new civic leadership supported by John Tory, there is opportunity to reset urban thinking in the city, mobilize Crombie’s vision, and leverage positive initiatives such as Waterfront Toronto, the publicly funded agency leading with landscape to create a vibrant social, environmental and economically sustainable
urban model.

What does it mean to lead with landscape? This session will examine recent exemplars and lessons through three different perspectives: Geoff Cape, a leading thinker on connecting people to people, and people to nature through his acclaimed Evergreen Brick Works; Adriaan Geuze of West 8 who, in association with Toronto-based firm DTAH, is leading the transformation of the Central Waterfront and Ontario Place Park; and Thomas Woltz, owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects known for
environmentally sensitive, high performance landscapes as well as processes of community engagement.


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