FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Urban Land Institute (ULI) Toronto hosts major city building symposium on placemaking, mobility and technology April 24 and 25
TORONTO (April 11, 2017) – Defining cities through major parks. Reimagining future mobility in the suburbs. Identifying disruptive forces in real estate. Building neighbourhoods around food. Empowering citizens to be the chief planners and place makers.
These are just a handful of the discussions that will take place at Toronto’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) highly-anticipated Electric Cities Symposium April 24-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). The Electric Cities Symposium will bring together hundreds of local and global real estate, planning and design professionals, as well as leading experts from other fields, to discuss the latest ideas for creating vibrant liveable cities through the lenses of mobility, placemaking and technology. For the first time this year, ULI is also inviting leaders from the general public to be part of this traditionally industry-only event.
“Modern city building requires a strong collaboration between the industry and the communities we work in to be successful,” says Richard Joy, Executive Director, ULI Toronto. “By opening what would be typically an industry event to the public, we hope to help unlock effective city building solutions as our region’s cities tackle unprecedented rapid growth and real estate challenges in both the private and public sectors. “
With over 80 regional and international experts participating in the panels, urban planning professionals go toe-to-toe with grass roots organizations, and politicians meet with engineers and technology experts, creating a unique program to stimulate a progressive dialogue on city building and with the intent to expedite solutions.
Some highlights from the two-day Electric Cities Symposium include:
- From High-Line to Millennium Park: How Major Parks Transform the Urban Experience (April 25, 12:00 p.m; MTCC). In light of Toronto’s consideration of the 21-acre Rail Deck Park downtown, an international panel will offer insight and lessons from the design and impact of major, large-scale public realm projects in New York, Chicago, Boston and the Netherlands. Toronto Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat will moderate the session. Opening remarks provided by Mayor John Tory.
- American urban theorist Richard Florida speaking about his new book The New Urban Crisis, with morning address from Premier Kathleen Wynne (April 25, 8:00 a.m.; MTCC). Best known for his work about the creative class, Florida addresses how cities are facing increasing inequality and a deepening segregation and failing the middle class and what that means for city building politics. This will be Florida’s first speaking engagement in Canada about The New Urban Crisis.
- Start Up City with Gabe Klein. (April 24, 1:30 p.m.; MTCC). Klein is the Co-Founder of CityFi and former commissioner of the Chicago and Washington D.C’s Department of Transportation. He is also the author of Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun. In his keynote presentation, Klein will discuss how private and public partnerships can create impactful change in cities, and why solutions and change need to happen fast.
- SOLD OUT: Meet the Chiefs Gala (April 24, 5:30 – 8:45 p.m.; Delta Toronto, 75 Lower Simcoe Street). A celebration of the region’s public sector planning leadership with special guest lecturer, Prof Maarten Hajer: tackling the the twin challenges of socially inclusive cities and cities with a zero-carbon footprint.
- Design for Unprecedented Growth (April 25, 3:15 p.m.; MTCC). City of Toronto Symposium Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner for City of Toronto, Lorna Day, Director of Urban Design for City of Toronto and leading architects will lead an exploration into inventive design solutions to support the city’s intensification.
- City of Toronto Free Public Event (April 25, 5:00 p.m.; Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West). Internationally renowned architect Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro will speak to ambitious design as Toronto prepares for its next stage of development. She will share the visionary work that led to the development of the High Line and Hudson Yards in NYC and compelling projects that showcase the relationship between architecture, landscape and art.
Twenty-eight panels and keynote speaker events are available throughout the two-day symposium. Full program details can be found online. Individual registration fees range from $500 to $800 for full access and can be completed by calling 1-800-321-5011 or visiting www.toronto.uli.org. Bulk pricing is also available. Entrance to the City of Toronto Public Event is complimentary, but sign up is required through ULI Toronto.
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in sustaining and creating thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 32,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. ULI Toronto is a District Council of the international organization, representing over 800 members locally.
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