TCLF: Leading with Landscape Conference Presentation – Panel I: Claude Cormier



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: http://tclf.org/sites/default/files/microsites/toronto2015/index.html

The buzz around public space is a barometer to measure and observe the emerging values of Toronto’s citizens. The metropolis has witnessed a dramatic tipping point towards a bold new urban attitude, reflecting the will of its inhabitants to be part of the story unfolding through their daily lives. As the city becomes bigger and brighter as well as pricier to live in, the residents are increasingly savvier and sophisticated. More than ever before, the public is informed, involved, committed and vocal about their city, wanting the public realm to be a mirror of their individualities.

This sense of entitlement means that a “good enough” solution isn’t even remotely sufficient in the making of the public space. The primary challenge of the emerging Toronto landscape is to democratically identify a threshold that fulfills everyone wishes and expectations. But this no longer being enough, successful public spaces are now those that dramatically surpass their expectations to also provide surprise and discovery through shared enjoyment as well as individual fulfillment. The future will be universal AND specific, boldly engaging conflict through the phenomenon of human desire, to give people more than they expect or imagine.

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