BOOK: Planning the New Suburbia

The suburbs house two-thirds of North America's population and are the subject of much debate and criticism. Planning the New Suburbia, by Avi Friedman, explores this phenomenon and proposes ways to respond to the challenge of creating affordable, adaptable, and environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods. An architect and planner, Friedman suggests new methods of design and regulation that would enable urban planners to conceive and inhabitants to adapt suburban communities and homes to their evolving needs, as a result of changing family size, an aging population, or new working conditions.

Friedman surveys the evolution of urban planning, the history of "ideal" communities, the development of North American suburbs, and the theory behind flexible suburban design. Three case studies offer practical examples of his approach, and all are generously illustrated with drawings, plans, and photographs to demonstrate Friedman's ideas in action. Rather than dismissing a suburb as an unattractive, impersonal sprawl, Friedman shows how they can be modified into an affordable, sustainable, and adaptable community.



Winnipeg to study how suburban retail impacts other areas - Manitoba - CBC News

Winnipeg plans to analyze the effect of large suburban retail developments on older areas of the city as part of a study into future land-use needs.

As part of a long-term planning effort, the city is about to hire a consulting firm to figure out how much commercial and industrial land it needs to support continued economic growth and make recommendations about how it should be developed.



Rexdale, Ontario, Canada

Aerial image of Toronto's northwest most community, Rexdale.

Rexdale is an informally-defined district of TorontoOntarioCanada. It is located north-west of the central core, in the former suburb of Etobicoke. Rexdale defines an area of several official neighbourhoods north of Highway 401 and east of Kipling Avenue. Rexdale was originally a post World War II residential development within Etobicoke, and today is applied to a general area from Malton and Toronto Pearson International Airport in the City of Mississauga to the west, Highway 401 to the south, Steeles Avenue to the north, and the Humber River to the east. It is centred on Rexdale Boulevard and Islington Avenue.

Replacing the Scarborough RT: A Tortuous Timeline | Urban Toronto

Originally planned as Toronto's first LRT, the Provincial government at the time decided to use the line as a showcase for ICTS technology, being developed by Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), an Ontario crown corporation (since purchased by Bombardier). The Scarborough RT was planned to be just the first of several ICTS lines in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) including the Etobicoke RT and a line in Hamilton. Evidence of the Etobicoke RT can be seen in the flat area on the south side of the upper level of Kipling Station, which was planned to be the RT platform. Ultimately however, the Scarborough RT became an orphan technology in the TTC system.

Shortly after the SRT was opened in March 1985, Vancouver opened their SkyTrain system in December of that year. While the SkyTrain system has been expanded and upgraded significantly since its debut, the SRT has stayed more or less the same. While Vancouver is in the process of phasing out its Mark I vehicles in favour of Mark II and Mark III vehicles, the Scarborough RT is still using exclusively Mark I. The underground curve just north of Ellesmere Station has too sharp of a radius to accommodate the newer, larger vehicles, and would need to be rebuilt if they were to be introduced.



A Design Competition to Build the New Etobicoke Civic Centre at Westwood - Build Toronto

Build Toronto, on behalf of the City of Toronto, has invited design teams to submit their qualifications for the first of a two-stage design competition for the proposed Etobicoke Civic Centre which will be part of a redevelopment of the former Westwood Theatre Lands in Toronto.

After 45 years in operation, Etobicoke’s Westwood Theatre has closed its doors, and the lands on which it sat have been identified for redevelopment. Build Toronto has been charged with master planning for the 13.8-acres site and, concurrently, the City of Toronto is carrying out a $77 million infrastructure transformation to redesign and urbanize the busy road network surrounding the site.

This significant transformation taking place has provided us with an important City-Building opportunity. Within the Westwood Theatre Lands site, a city block has been designated for the new Etobicoke Civic Centre, which is being relocated from the West Mall. The Etobicoke Civic Centre is envisioned as the new focus of activity, commerce and civic celebrations for the Etobicoke York District. The new civic centre will include municipal offices and facilities such as a recreation centre, a library and a child care centre, surrounding a new central civic square.

Following a four-week Request for Supplier Qualifications process, we received an overwhelming response from the design community comprised of both local and international design talents who are excited to lend their bold and fresh ideas to the design of the new Etobicoke Civic Centre. This is an important civic project that will provide the opportunity to establish the identity of the Etobicoke Civic Centre Precinct through a design that is integrated and inspired.

The Etobicoke Civic Centre Precinct will be defined by a high quality and sustainable public realm design, featuring public squares, parks, public art, and safe, attractive environments for pedestrians and cyclists. At the heart of this precinct, the Etobicoke Civic Centre will become a new landmark for Etobicoke in the City of Toronto – not only delivering the municipal business of the community but enhancing the public sphere and serving the public interests of generations to come.

DESIGN COMPETITION NEXT STEPS  Jury for Stage 1: Request for Supplier Qualifications

A jury composed of members of Build Toronto, the City of Toronto and Professional Advisors DTAH will review Request for Supplier Qualifications submissions and select a shortlist to proceed to Stage 2. The jury will review all submissions, and recommend up to five design teams based on the merits of their letters of interest, team composition, resumés and previous work experience.

Stage 2 of the Selection Process – Request for Proposals

Finalist teams will be invited to move forward to develop a concept based on a detailed project design brief, and present their design to the jury in April 2017.




Many scholars discuss post-suburbia in terms of the urbanization of edge cities, an evolving built-up periphery, or as a broader trend of decline among older suburbs alongside new outer-ring suburban growth. This article explores the post-suburban thesis in the context of the older, inner suburb of Upper Arlington, Ohio, located in the Columbus metropolitan area. This suburb is shifting from a traditional residential community to a more complex mix of domiciliary and economic functions, a process of redevelopment we characterize as a shift from an old suburb to a post-suburb. Based on qualitative interviews and analysis, we find that the politics of redevelopment in the older, landlocked suburb of Upper Arlington is contentious, and driven in large part by this suburb's need to overcome fiscal stress and maintain its competitive edge in the new metropolitan economy. We suggest that New Urbanist suburbanization for older, inner suburbs is influenced by their desire to remain competitive in a highly fragmented metropolis.


Massive Markham development has both sides talking up storm

With the 2,400-residential-unit development proposed for York Downs Golf Club, the key issue between developer, staff and residents is to keep on talking.


Massive Markham York Downs... That's what Regional Coun. Jim Jones, development services committee chair, suggested early on in Monday's initial meeting on the development application.

After several citizens complained to the committee they didn't know enough about the 417-acre development proposed for north of 16th Avenue between Warden Avenue and Kennedy Road, Jones said the answer lies in more informal question-and-answer discussions between residents and the developer facilitated by councillors in a subcommitee format.



The Shape of Things to Come – Granola Shotgun

After several years of traveling around the country in the presence of city planners, economic development officials, elected representatives, engineers, production home builders, professional consultants, and groups of concerned citizens I’ve come to my own personal unified theory of America’s land use future. The short version is that we’ve got the built environment that we have and the overwhelming majority of it isn’t ever going to change much. If you want to know what things will look like in thirty or forty years… look around. That’s pretty much it.


2989 Kennedy Road

Proposal to make an addition to an existing industrial building, and to build in a mezzanine within the existing building, all to house a construction supply sales and warehouse operation. Total proposed new GFA is 3,301 m2 (35,538 sq. ft.). Total proposed GFA is 7,889 m2 (84,919 sq. ft.). 70 parking spaces are proposed, and 2 loading spaces. A new site entrance is proposed from Milliken Boulevard.


Suburban Inertia: The Entrenchment of Dispersed Suburbanism - IJURR

Suburban Inertia: The Entrenchment of Dispersed Suburbanism
During the years following the second world war, an urban development model—dispersed suburbanism (DS)—came to predominate in North America. The low-density functional specialization and all-out automobile orientation of this new urban form were ideally suited to the circumstances of the time, thus accounting for its rapid adoption. DS also proved to be adaptable to changing societal circumstances, which explains its predominance as an urban development model under both Fordism and neoliberalism. The adaptability of this urban form also contributed to its spread across much of the world, including Europe. This essay contends that powerful path dependencies maintain DS in place, despite planning efforts to achieve more compact, public-transit oriented urban development. It also argues that the persistence of DS is a source of hardship for low-income households forced to live in suburban environments, and entrenches conservative political values.


Population falling in areas near planned Scarborough subway stop | Toronto Star

“The Scarborough subway is not based on short-term growth, it’s based on a long-term vision to turn the Scarborough centre into something fundamentally different than what it is today,” Keesmaat said, adding that she wouldn’t find it troublesome if the population in nearby areas continued to decline for a few years. “The subway alone isn’t enough to create an urban place.”

Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, a vocal proponent of the subway extension, argued that the transit stop will serve a much greater population than the neighbourhoods directly surrounding it.

“I have no concerns at all about the viability of the subway station because the subway station isn’t just about a circle or a bull's-eye around the station,” said De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre). He predicted that the stop would be a “feeder station” for hundreds of thousands of residents in northeast Scarborough and Markham.



Study Overview - Scarborough Centre on the Move - Projects & Studies | City of Toronto

Over the next 20-30 years, Scarborough Centre is expected to change significantly through development and public sector investments. The Scarborough Centre on the Move study will guide these changes and establish a transportation network supportive of all users, focusing on building connections within the Centre as well as to the surrounding area and the rest of the City. The study will support the vision and evolution of Scarborough Centre into a walkable and connected urban centre, with an efficient, safe, and balanced transportation network.

The Scarborough Centre on the Move study is a Transportation Master Plan that will be conducted to satisfy the requirements of Phases 1 and 2 of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) process in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act. This Class EA process provides for public input at key stages and involves the identification of the problem/opportunity, developing and evaluating a reasonable range of alternative solutions, and selecting a preferred alternative solution.

Mixed-Use Redevelopment Planned for Eglinton Square

Some of Toronto's aging suburban shopping centres are seeing proposals for an urban transformation. While some malls have seen an end to their lifespan, others are finding a new life through revitalization. Most recently reported was the Reimagine Galleria plan for a large mixed-use development of the eponymous shopping centre at Dupont and Dufferin, intensifying the large under-utilized site. Now, the Eglinton Square Shopping Centre in Scarborough has plans for its own mixed-use project, but without a complete teardown in this case.

Read More