At both the urban and architectural scales, the suburban fabric of large cities like Toronto isolates people from one another and from the environment in which they live: social space is segregated by class, urban form is designed for the car and as a result actively discourages face to face interaction, while living spaces are cut off from the solar energy, air and living plants and animals that that surrounds them. This panel, lecture and charrette will interrogate the social and biophysical energies that circulate in both human and non-human ecologies, in an effort to discover ways that architecture and urbanism can encourage their freer circulation. These events support student design work in a third-year undergraduate design studio: Emergetic Urbanism: Towards a Non-Isolated Architecture.
The panel, featuring Martine August (University of Waterloo Planning), Ya’el Santopinto (ERA Architects / Tower Renewal) and George Baird (University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design) will focus on questions that are central to urban design and architecture in Toronto’s mature suburbs:
1) the concept of social mix, including its utopian possibilities and its ideological function,
2) the new imperative to urbanize suburban landscapes through the intensification of mid-twentieth century tower developments, and
3) the legacy of infill urbanism and typological investigation, which have been fundamental to the tradition of urbanism in Toronto.
The panel discussion is open to the school and public
Panel: Urban Form and Social Energy of the City
Thursday March 8th, 2018
2:45 – Introductions
3:00 – Martine August (University of Waterloo Planning): Isolation, Inclusion, and Social Mix: A Critical Analysis.
3:20 – Ya’el Santopinto (ERA Architects / Tower Renewal): Tower Renewal and RAC Zoning
3:40 – George Baird (University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design): Trajectories of Urban Design in Toronto
4:00 – Discussion and questions
5:00 – end
Martine August is an Assistant Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on the political economy of housing and the pursuit of urban social justice, exploring themes related to gentrification, displacement, community organizing, public housing redevelopment, and the politics of social mix. She is an alumnus of the University of Winnipeg and the University of Toronto, holding degrees in Physics, Urban Studies, and Urban Planning. Her current research examines the financialization of rental housing, and the ways that inclusionary zoning paradoxically promotes displacement. At Waterloo she teaches “Planning for Social Justice in the Capitalist City.” Martine is a former Trudeau Foundation Scholar, and past recipient of the Urban Affairs Association Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award. She has worked as a housing policy advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in the Housing Policy Branch and Homelessness Secretariat.
Ya’el Santopinto is the Director of Research and Partnerships at the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R), a non-profit organization advocating for supportive policy frameworks around the preservation of Canada’s affordable apartment housing supply. In this role, she leads work on Tower Renewal, an initiative to catalyze community-led transformation in apartment tower neighbourhoods. This work includes research and policy advocacy to support best practices in housing and neighbourhood renewal, ranging from retrofit standards to planning policy, green financing, and measures to ensure the maintenance of affordability. Ya’el is also a registered Architect and Associate at ERA Architects, where she specializes in affordable, healthy, and climate-resilient housing rehabilitation and retrofit. She is currently Project Architect on the extensive rehabilitation and energy retrofit of three Toronto Community Housing complexes in Scarborough, as well as several building- and site-rehabilitation projects on postwar apartment towers across the region.
George Baird is the former Dean (2004-2009) of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, and is a partner in the Toronto-based architecture and urban design firm Baird Sampson Neuert Architects. Prior to becoming Dean at the University of Toronto, Baird was the G. Ware Travelstead Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. He is co-editor (with Charles Jencks) of Meaning in Architecture (1969), and (with Mark Lewis) of Queues Rendezvous, Riots (1995). He is author of Alvar Aalto (1969) and The Space of Appearance (1995). Most recently, his researches in architectural theory have focused on the question of the political and social status of urban public space, and on debates revolving around subject of “critical architecture”. Baird Sampson Neuert is the winner of numerous design awards, including Canadian Architect Magazine awards over many years, and Governor General’s Awards for Cloud Gardens Park in 1994 and Erindale Hall on the campus of the University of Toronto at Mississauga in 2006. Baird is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He has been the recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Architecture and Design Award (1992) and the da Vinci Medal of the Ontario Association of Architects (2000).
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