Towers in the Park: A Prospective for Equitable Resilience looks at the untapped potential of the “parks” in “Towers in the Park”. Many of these tower neighbourhoods were built between 1950-80’s based on universal modernist principles of site planning and building layout. One of their most critical ambitions was the provision of ample open space as developments responded to surrounding natural areas such as ravines, creeks, and networks of green open space. The “park” portion of the “Tower in the Park” has been deemed problematic, anti-urban, and undervalued for decades. The significance of these tower neighbourhoods and surrounding open spaces are becoming increasingly valuable as Toronto begins to experience more acute climate-related shocks (such as flooding and extreme heat), as well as chronic socio-economic stresses (such as rising inequality, mental and physical health). As such, this project aims to evaluate, measure, assess, and quantify the social and environmental value of public and private open space assets, including parks, and right-of-ways, as they relate to the city’s overall resilience goals. It will also explore the potential for integrating adaptation and mitigation strategies in these tower neighbourhoods to pursue overall socio-environmental sustainability strategies.
Fadi Masoud – Director, Centre for Landscape Research and Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Toronto.