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Strategies for Urban Revival and Renewal in Canadian Cities and Towns II

My Session Status

Regular session
11:00 AM, Friday 27 May 2022 (1 hour 30 minutes)
Lunch and Annual General Meeting of Members   12:30 PM to 03:30 PM (3 hours)

Many of our Canadian cities and towns currently find themselves in need of revival and renewal. Disinvestment in the public realm, decentralization – exacerbated during the COVID 19 Pandemic – vacancies and abandonment - including brownfields and grayfields – are some of the many challenges which they currently face.  

Both dwindling tax bases, and depleted revenue streams, make more formal and top-down urban strategies less tenable. Prevailing Modernist paradigms such as urban renewal led by many Canadian cities and towns in the 50’s and 60’s by local and city governmental agencies, succeeded in fracturing both communities as well as ecologies. How might we begin to revive and renew our cities and towns within the context of these challenges? What is the agency of design as a strategic framework as an alternative to more formal urban strategies, lying within informal urbanisms operating at both the bottom-up and middle-down, or hybrid strategies situated between both the informal and formal?   

Both the recent United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference - COP 26 – and increasing extreme climate change events, such as the mudslides in BC and increased flooding in our waterfront cities and towns, focus increased calls to action on these fronts.  

Design strategies and interventions operating within the existing built urban fabric and which re-use existing building stock, through both preservation and adaptive re-use, contribute to the sustainable continuum of our cultural and social landscapes through built heritage.  

Working within a framework of heritage preservation and re-use, and operating at the bottom-up and middle-down, what might more participatory forms of heritage revival and renewal in our cities and towns be? How might we also recover our ecological landscapes?

Sub Sessions

11:00 AM - 11:20 AM | 20 minutes

The Canadian landscape has been romantically mythologized as wild and free, and its’ manifestation in cartographical and economic terms. The cartographical project, the Geological Survey of Canada of 1842, mapped, described, recorded, and assessed natural resources, specifically mineral rights of the province of Canada. They traveled the so-called uncharted wilderness by horse, foot, or canoe, recommending expansions and infrastructural investments that reinforced the colonial destiny, fro...

11:30 AM - 11:50 AM | 20 minutes

This talk explores how Canadian urban waterfronts can learn from global practices of tactical urbanism based on forms of the public bath. It builds upon a line of thought initiated in my publication The Architecture of Bathing: Body, Landscape, Art (MIT, 2020). It will look at projects by community members, artists and architects, and trace their origins and supports. Examining a series of initiatives from around the world, we will discover networks of tactical urbanisms which are b...

12:00 PM - 12:20 PM | 20 minutes

“Heritage at Risk” traces up-close consequences of climate change on Canadian architectural heritage and convenes adaptation strategy responses, with the purpose to build interest and consensus surrounding the threat of climate change and heritage-related resilience. Through the comparison of mitigation approaches, the goal is to translate the topic from the heritage literature to more locally related insight and empower conservation sustainability projects through practice examples and sh...

My Session Status

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