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Ken Greenberg on the future of Toronto Parks


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Ken Greenberg on the future of Toronto Parks

  1. 1. 02/08/2013 Strategic Framework Park Solutions THE CHALLENGE – The need for parks is large and growing • Great parks are the hallmark of a great city • Toronto is not keeping up • Conventional methods not meeting growing need for park space • Both quantity and quality • Limited ability of the City to maintain existing spaces or to create new ones • Cost of Land • Budgetary limitations • Lack of staff resources 1
  2. 2. 02/08/2013 Not keeping pace with the huge increase in downtown population Toronto has the most high rise buildings under construction in North America 2
  3. 3. 02/08/2013 Also great needs in the neighbourhoods and inner suburbs Recreational opportunities and walkability essential for public health 3
  4. 4. 02/08/2013 Many diverse new uses and users competing for limited space in parks The vital need for common ground in a heterogeneous city 4
  5. 5. 02/08/2013 We are living differently in smaller spaces… means making room for the needs of all ages – including young families and seniors Need to understand our place in nature including the impacts of climate change 5
  6. 6. 02/08/2013 Toronto July 8, 2013 THE OPPORTUNITIES and there are many! • Piggybacking on other essential infrastructure – stormwater management and floodproofing • Integrating with city’s underlying natural systems • Re-using and connecting existing spaces to form networks • City becomes its own resort – ‘cottage country’ • Waterfronts, riverfronts new frontier • integrating new parks in heart of new neighbourhoods • Great range of hard and soft spaces • Finding the low hanging fruit 6
  7. 7. 02/08/2013 Rebuilding essential infrastructure usingnatural process Seeing the benefits of working with natural process An altered image of place includes the presence of nature 7
  8. 8. 02/08/2013 Sherbourne Common a ‘park’ and a water treatment plant Sherbourne Common – – a ‘park’ and a water treatment plant Productive landscapes in the city A productive landscape in cities 8
  9. 9. 02/08/2013 Reclaiming neglected spaces From Montreal rooftops.... 9
  10. 10. 02/08/2013 urban farming in Detroit By simultaneously making the city denser and more green it becomes its own resort 10
  11. 11. 02/08/2013 New waterfront parks provide public access to areas that were previously inaccessible 11
  12. 12. 02/08/2013 New parks emerge as the central features of new neighbourhoods The new 6 acre Regent ‘Park’ is the magnet that draws other uses and users 12
  13. 13. 02/08/2013 PUTTING IT TOGETHER A new generation of city building embraces great natural features Saint Paul Boston/Cambridge Toronto Stockholm 13
  14. 14. 02/08/2013 Saint Paul on the Mississippi – the full cycle An epiphany – the Great River Park 14
  15. 15. 02/08/2013 A City – denser, greener, re-connected to the Misssissippi The revival of a powerful regional 19th century Greenway concept Every neighbourhood has a signature green space 15
  16. 16. 02/08/2013 A shared vision for the whole leading to…. a program of incremental development and phased public realm investment 16
  17. 17. 02/08/2013 17
  18. 18. 02/08/2013 Major new initiative Next great Framework effort - whole City on the River • Renewing the ‘compact’ • Strengthen greatest competitive advantage – ‘Great River Passage’ • Apply what has worked to the whole length of the Mississippi The ‘smile’ embracing Lower and the and Brooklyn The ‘smile’ on Lower ManhattanManhattanlink to Brooklyn 18
  19. 19. 02/08/2013 Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald necklace in Boston - enduring inspiration… Building on a Legacy with important precedents like Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace in Boston 19
  20. 20. 02/08/2013 for an ongoing ‘project’ to reconnect to the Charles River basin and Boston Harbor The ‘Big Dig” and the Crossroads initiative 20
  21. 21. 02/08/2013 There is an enormous potential for Toronto to develop an expanded park network It is already surfacing in many disparate places West of Downtown….a series of initiatives one leading to the other but still disconnected Never appear on one plan! 21
  22. 22. 02/08/2013 leading to Creek an inspiration The buried Garrison gradual erosion….. and resource The Discovery Walk Re-’discovery ‘and the pendulum Starts to swing back 22
  23. 23. 02/08/2013 A homegrown National Park David Suzuki Foundation launches Toronto’s Homegrown National Park project in Ward 19 March 6, 2013 Do you have great ideas and a passion for community? Do you live, work or play in Toronto ’s Ward 19? If you answered yes, you need to be part of Toronto’s Homegrown National Park project! The David Suzuki Foundation has embarked on a mission to establish a ” Homegrown National Park ” in the City of Toronto by creating a vibrant green corridor following the former path of Garrison Creek , one of the city’s most important lost rivers. We’re seeking motivated and creative individuals who will work together with the David Suzuki Foundation and our project partners to help us grow, restore and enhance urban green space within the Homegrown National Park . with better connections – A new bridge to Stanley Park and links to the waterfront a new bridge to Fort York 23
  24. 24. 02/08/2013 Fort York is revealed as a green oasis surrounded by intense redevelopment What if piece of and its lands were seen as the nexus of a park network? The centreFort Yorkan environment becoming more urban and more green 24
  25. 25. 02/08/2013 A public realm initiative in Liberty Village A proposedA potential for consolidation of the Place – the vision Place? merger of Ontario Place and Exhibition Ex and Ontario a 270 acre ‘Park’ 15 December, 2005 The Planning Partnership Greenberg Consultants 25
  26. 26. 02/08/2013 Taking the Martin Goodman Trail out to the water’s edge West Queen West intensifies – open spaces along an expanded public realm West Queen West … attempts to plan for the rail corridor 26
  27. 27. 02/08/2013 Including West Toronto Railpath with Phase toin the works Railpath with more 2 come The West Liberty Village BIA looks for links beyond its boundaries 27
  28. 28. 02/08/2013 Directly linked in turn to Wellington Place of King Spadina ++ Community Improvement Plan for west half and King/Spadina An endless chain the work of many hands From WPNA Public Realm Study An initiative in the Entertainment District east of Spadina 28
  29. 29. 02/08/2013 Similar set of initiatives taking shape on the east side of downtown The ‘world in motion’ includes key public space initiatives 29
  30. 30. 02/08/2013 Waterfront Toronto creates series of new parks The transformation of the mouth of the Don River 30
  31. 31. 02/08/2013 The Toronto Harbour Commission Plan of 1912 Dredging a ‘swamp’ or removing the largest wetland on the Great Lakes? 31
  32. 32. 02/08/2013 Lateral solutions – addressing multiple problems and working with natural process The River mouth parks create a strong sense of place 32
  33. 33. 02/08/2013 The natural and the urban in a new contrasting balance The incredible restorative power of nature TTommy thompson Park – aka “the Spit” 2002 33
  34. 34. 02/08/2013 Tommy thompson Park – aka “the Spit” 2009 The potential for a larger network extending up river…. 34
  35. 35. 02/08/2013 The Evergreen initiative takes shape Toronto city council’s executive committee approves plan for Pan Am Trail, joining 80 km of bike paths. The Toronto region has more than 1,000 km of bike trails. The trouble is they are not connected. There are frustrating gaps, sections that can’t accommodate cyclists and pedestrians, and stretches that end abruptly. City council’s executive committee took a welcome step last week, voting to link 80 km of cycling and walking paths into a continuous trail from Pickering to Brampton. This east-way route, suitable for walking, running and cycling, would be completed by 2015. It would be called the Pan Am Path . 35
  36. 36. 02/08/2013 TOWARD A STRATEGIC PARKS FRAMEWORK FOR TORONTO • There is enormous potential to capitalize on these assets and opportunities and many others throughout the city • They gain enormously in power by being connected in an overall strategy • They point to innovative ways to greatly expand Toronto’s quantity and quality of park space • Park People can play a critical role in the following areas:  Connect the dots and link proposals across the city  Conduct research – needs assessment, resources etc.  Inventory, map, and correlate existing and new initiatives  Work with range of public and private stakeholders to identify POLICIES, PROGRAMS, PLANS, PROJECTS to advance a strategic parks agenda 36