Are Planners to Blame for Toronto's Mediocre Architecture?

The Toronto Star architecture critic Christopher Hume introduces a provocative premise - the city's "planning-by-default" approach is responsible for a skyline of sameness.
October 19, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Whereas developers usually get the blame for the mediocre design of the buildings they pay for, Hume points his finger directly at Toronto's "nervous" planners, who take a "checklist approach to approval." 

"Despite concerns about the sustainability of the glass-walled condo and the monotony they have brought to the Toronto skyline, these are not issues that concern city planners. That’s someone else’s department."

"For planners, the main thing is to ensure that everything fits in — in other words, that nothing stands out," he argues. "As long as a building isn’t too tall, too dense, or too good, the department is happy to give its approval."

"As the endless glass towers make clear, the result is a city of sameness and desirable only because it offends the least number of people, is most easily defended and keeps planners from having to justify their actions."

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Published on Friday, October 18, 2013 in The Toronto Star
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