TCLF: Leading with Landscape Conference Presentation – Panel I Moderator: Jane Amidon

Landscape architecture conference about the contemporary vision of sustainability and fun design ideas and projects that are making the future of parks today. Held at the Isabel Bader Theater at the University of Toronto in May 2015, the conference brought together some of the leading thinkers and designers in the field of park design. To learn more about the conference:

North American cities have experienced a double paradigm shift, economic and ecologic, that distinguish this generation’s challenges from preceding eras. Economically, global imbalances have set the stage for contemporary design practices to focus on strategic resource allocation instead of singular solutions in order to maximize a city’s fiscal, spatial and infrastructural assets. Ecologically, current design approaches are adaptive and multi scalar. Of primary interest is how landscape and urban designers create frameworks for – and respond to – change, and how the act of designing urban spaces allows historical and future conditions to be both acknowledged and anticipated within the contemporary landscape.

In Toronto, a distinctive urban evolution has been driven by cultural and natural systems that are a fusion of economic and ecological forces. In this panel, the design approaches of three firms are explored that express Toronto’s unique qualities as well as introduce innovative design techniques. Through the lens of projects designed and built by Claude Cormier Associes, PUBLIC WORK office for urban design & landscape architecture, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Toronto’s 21st century landscape is examined. What is unique about current work in Toronto? How have the city’s “citizen designers” helped forge new levels of landscape literacy? Through the re-making and management of its public realm, can Toronto be regional and global at the same time? What landscape design ideas are allowing the city’s future to emerge today?


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