A CANADIAN URBAN INSTITUTE (CUI) THINK TANK OF LEADING ARCHITECTS, URBAN ACTORS & CRITICAL THINKERS TO IMAGINE CANADA'S POST-COVID DOWNTOWNS
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and under the leadership of CUI president Mary W. Rowe, a group of thinkers, planners and designers from across the country have come together to visualize how to rethink the post-pandemic downtown in Canada's main cities.
The think-tank includes advisory groups, research & design partners, CUI staff members and "provocators" from Canada's main cities. Provocators include heavy hitters Richard Florida (Toronto), Johanna Hurme of 5468796 Architecture (Winnipeg), Alkarim Devani of RNDSQR (Calgary), Alex Josephson of Partisans (Toronto), Gabriella Gomez-Mont of Experimentalista, Steven Paynter and Kevin Katigbak from Gensler, Bruce Katz of The New Localism, and Michel Lauzon from LAAB collective (Montreal).
Some quotes from the report:
Given their strategic locations at the very center of major metro areas, Central Business Districts (CBD) are perfectly positioned to be remade as more vibrant neighbourhoods where people can live and play as well as work – a leading-edge example of what many urbanists are now calling 15-minute neighbourhoods. And with conscious and intentional action on the part of the urban leaders and assistance from the federal government, these CBDs can be rebuilt in ways that are more inclusive and affordable.” - Richard Florida
“There is potential in the post-COVID-19 world to rethink how transit can be a catalyst for relieving pressure and prices in very dense city centers, while also providing joy, beauty, and accessibility. We can create a mode of life that can welcome people from around the world to live in – a place that we can all be proud of." - Alex Josephson, Partisans
“Whether or not cities bounce back from the pandemic will be determined by the choices they make to reimagine their downtown hubs. Post-pandemic, we have the opportunity to reposition and diversify our downtowns. We need to reimagine and plan for a more diverse mixed-use downtown with more weight on the outdoor environment."” - Johanna Hurme, 5468796 Architecture
"I think that one of the deep trends of the future is that buildings will be planned as hybrid buildings, and more as platforms than as shapes to house particular uses.” - Michel Lauzon, LAAB collective
The think-tank goes beyond incremental mindsets and innovates with scenario building, future-proofing and risk modeling, including "what if?" type projections. All the while being very "boots on the ground", the report also comprises of a comprehensive urban diagnosis toolkit and useful methodologies to accelerate strategy into implementation and action for citizens, stakeholders and decision makers.
This forward-thinking and optimistic report holds the promise of deeper resilience, inclusion and sustainability for tomorrow's canadian urban cores.
Find out more by downloading The Case for the Core report here, in English and in French :
You can also consult the report on the Canadian Urban Institute website here.