What's next for the Growth Plan and the retrofit of Canada’s edge cities is focus of CanU conference

The challenges which have arisen during the implementation of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe was the focus of a talk by Executive Director Marcy Burchfield at a Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU) conference titled: Cities at the Edge: Urbanizing Suburbia in the Regional City.

Burchfied was part of a panel which included Larry Clay of the Ontario Growth Secretariat, Joe Berridge from Urban Strategies, and Mary-Lou Tanner from Niagara Region. Her talk was based on a Neptis report, the first comprehensive review of the Plan. The report paints a picture of an innovative, award-winning plan under pressure and behind schedule.

CanU board member Alex Taranu said the conference was meant to draw attention to the presence of extensive suburban areas in Canadian cities and their retrofit and urbanization is a key issue and priority for Canadian urbanists.

"For too long suburbia was truthfully deemed to be dominated by sameness, be dull, boring, a place without character," Taranu said. "We hope to show that there are significant efforts to establish character and identity, to create and sometimes to establish and revive a certain sense of place that is so important for us as human, creative, social beings and this includes the efforts to reconsider the positive aspects of the modernist legacy."

"We hope that the tours, presentations and discussions will allow the participants to better understand the suburban phenomenon, the suburbs as more complex, dynamic, diverse and worthwhile the concentrated efforts of the country's top urbanists," said Taranu.