Politics-Driven Planning Rules Toronto

During a round table discussion between four of Toronto's most prominent architects conclude that the city's planning, deemed dysfunctional by one, falls short.
April 16, 2009, 5am PDT | Judy Chang
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"According to Babak Eslahjou, of Core Architects, the planning process 'pits neighbourhoods against developers.' And once the subject of height is raised, he argued, backs go up and civility flies out the door. We should be talking about density, he insisted, not height.

David Pontarini of Hariri Pontarini Architects pointed out that because the planning regime is so dysfunctional, fully half his firm's projects end up at the Ontario Municipal Board, the quasi-judicial tribunal that has final say on development in the province. He would prefer a design review process, like that of Vancouver.

But as Roland Rom Colthoff of Raw Design pointed out: 'The approval process is democratic.' As he also noted, however, democracy isn't particularly effective; it's just better than any other system."

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Published on Saturday, April 11, 2009 in Toronto Star
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