Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Toronto's Laneway Project and November 30th Summit

Toronto's Laneway Project aims to enliven the city's alleys, with more housing (what in DC we would call carriage houses or accessory dwelling units--ADUs), events, greening, and public art, and general advocacy and promotion.

-- "Toronto Laneway Project launches photo contest," The Bulletin

The organization's website is full of resources including guides to organizing events, creating public art in alleys, and greening, comparable to Toronto's Park People Project's set of guides, "Park People, Toronto, new report on modern parks planning and amenities, and parks toolkit resource guides."

Photos from the contest will be exhibited at the upcoming The [Lane}Way Forward 2016 Summit and Exhibit Wednesday evening, November 30th, which features a presentation, reception, and the exhibit.

Moderated by Annabel Vaughan, Project Manager at ERA Architects and principal of publicLAB, five panelists will discuss:

• Opportunities and challenges to improving Toronto’s laneways
• What needs to change to realize the potential of our laneways
• Who and what we need to create a stronger laneway movement in Toronto 

• Jake Tobin Garrett, Manager, Policy and Research, Park People
• Jessica Myers, Executive Director, Junction Bus. Improvement Assn.
• Jonathan Morrice, Community Safety and Social Media Officer, 55 Division, Toronto Police Service
• Mark van Elsberg, Project Manager, Pedestrian Projects, Public Realm Section, Transportation Services, City of Toronto
• Monica Wickeler, Laneway Mural Artist
Even though it's not a full-blown conference, I think it's still a great concept and event, because it brings attention to the opportunities presented by "alleys."

Alley housing as an option in a time of rising housing costs.  The City of Toronto sees the advantage of laneways as another place for housing that is relatively less expensive, as a way to add to the city's housing stock.("Campaign aims to boost laneway housing in Toronto," Metro;  "Laneway house owner says homes like his are 'real opportunity' for Toronto," CBC-TV).

Public meeting.  Two city councillors have scheduled a public meeting to discuss alley housing as an option for Monday December 5th.

Edmonton ADU incentives program. But there are a lot of barriers to moving forward and it's hard to scale since property owners have to take the initiative one at a time.  Edmonton addresses that in part through an incentive program of up to $20,000 per created unit.

DC has recently made it easier to build accessory dwelling units in more parts of the city, but unlike programs in other cities such as Seattle (A GUIDE TO BUILDING A BACKYARD COTTAGE) as yet there is no pilot program aimed at figuring out what the potential barriers might be and how to address them.

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