CityTalk Leadership Lecture: From Making the City to Using the City

To mark CUI’s 30th anniversary, the Canadian Urban Institute and its Board of Directors are proud to have presented the first annual CityTalk Leadership Lecture featuring internationally renowned designer and urbanist Dan Hill for a provocative presentation on how cities can change, and a panel of Canada’s leading urbanists: Cynthia Dorrington and Zahra Ebrahim.

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. “Technology is the answer. But what was the question?”

According to Dan Hill, throughout history the act and art of city-building has been to be quick to jump to technical solutions, often before we have asked more fundamental questions about the kind of city we collectively want. But this is the opposite of how we should approach city-building. Says Hill, “We don’t make cities for technology, buildings, and infrastructure. We make cities for culture, community, commerce, and conviviality, enabled by the infrastructures of everyday life.”

2. Locking in experimentation: getting past pop-up, pop-down

Hill argues that we need to get past the pop-up, pop-down model to revitalize our main streets and communities. He poses that policymakers need to institutionalize policymaking and regulatory frameworks that help us to lock in and adapt the creative interventions and experimentations that are naturally happening in our cities all the time.

3. Unlocking delight through public participation

According to Hill, “designers have to help people feel like they’re making a mark on their city. Delight gets unlocked when we work with participatory design processes.” Discussants Cynthia Dorrington and Zahra Ebrahim agreed that community engagement is critical in the process of planning for the future of our cities, towns, and communities. We have to interrogate who’s asking the questions. Says Ebrahim, “co-design is often a plot device to advance a conversation about power in the city and who has it.”

4. Rethinking the city design and delivery team

Hill argues that participatory city design is about more than consultation. It is also about rethinking the way we put together our city design and delivery teams. For example, can we include in our design and delivery teams, from the beginning of and throughout the process, voices such as a community liaison, a youth worker, a historian, an artist, or a healthcare worker? Argues Hill, “It’s not about drawing a picture of what we want the community to look like, but creating the condition for what we want to happen there.”

5. The infrastructure of everyday dignity

COVID-19 has presented us with an Overton window—an opportunity to centre a recovery on climate resilience, human and non-human health, and social justice. It is also a moment for us to narrow down on the hyper-local. Hill suggests that we should shift our mental model to “the one-minute city of the street, directly outside our front door, when we can talk about regeneration, conviviality, culture, shared ownership, participation, adaptation, and repair.”


Dan Hill’s lecture slides

Antionette D. Carrol

8 80 Cities

Participatory City

Video from Vancouver, 1907

Vancouver 1907 Trolley View

Field Guide: Equity-Centered Community Design


Carroll, A. (n.d.). Field Guide: Equity-Centered Community Design. St. Louis, MO: Creave Reacon Lab.

Dorling, D., & McClure, K. (2020). Slowdown: The end of the great acceleraon– and why its good for the planet, the economy, and our lives. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line.

CityTalk – Sep 10th – Dan Hill


Mary Rowe [00:00:21] Hello, everybody, it’s Mary Rowe from the Canadian Urban Institute. Welcome back to City Talk. It is September 2020. We took a bit of a hiatus there in August. I hope that people got a chance to take a bit of a break. We did. Trying to just regroup and catch our breath, but also watch really carefully to see what’s happening around us as we continue to adapt and adjust to the realities of this global pandemic. And today is the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Urban Institute, who knew? It was created in 1990. You do the math, and an organization set up to foster healthy urban development. It’s been doing all sorts of interesting things since. And I have the privilege of being CEO actually for the last year, almost to the day. My first day was a year ago now. So, and who knew that we’d be embarking on this extraordinary experiment where we reinvent urbanism or it’s reinvented for us before our eyes and then we figure out what the implications are. So we’re really, really fortunate to have someone like Dan Hill who’s agreed to help chart a bit of a course, be a provocateur for us in our first annual leadership lecture, which we hope will be, as we suggest, annual every year at this time, we anticipate. And he’s got a tough task here because he’s not just speaking about any old time in urban life. He’s actually talking about this time in urban life. And before I give you any more details on Dan, you can look him up. If you’ve signed up for this, you will- you’ll be aware of his bio and you’ll know that he’s an esteemed person who’s worked in a bunch of different jurisdictions in the U.K. and now in the EU. And he takes a very particular approach as a designer and as a person who thinks and sees systems and interactions and-and how things fit together. So, Dan, before I pass to you, I just want to thank you. Even before you open your mouth, we’re going to thank you. I also just want to- I want to apologize to all the Canadians who are watching. And one of the nice things about CityTalk is people check in wherever they’re- wherever they’re watching from. So if people want to do that now, the chat kind of blows up, but we get to see where they’re coming from. And so if you wanted to sign it and tell us where you’re listening from, that would be great. But I just want to apologize to all the Canadians on your behalf, Dan, because many Canadians associate your name, Dan Hill, with a song which is now going to be an earworm in everyone’s head in the 70s, a very popular song that, shall we say, had a rather sentimental lyric and heart and melody. And I’m know I’m going to get e-mails from people saying, thanks, Mary, I have to have that song in my head now. So hopefully your lecture is going to be substantively so compelling that they will force that song from their memory.


Dan Hill [00:02:56] You know, as I get older, I’m looking more and more like him as well. It’s kind of- usually this isn’t the problem, but giving a talk in Canada, of course, it’s- I now realize that’s a problem.


Mary Rowe [00:03:08] You have heard the- you’ve heard the association with this song sometimes when we call?


Dan Hill [00:03:12] Of course, number- I think it was number five in the U.K. in 1975.


Mary Rowe [00:03:16] I see. Well, you even know the date on. And I hadn’t appreciated it.


Dan Hill [00:03:18] Well I would, because I have the same name as the guy.


Mary Rowe [00:03:22] I see, but you didn’t get the royalties, let’s just say. So-


Dan Hill [00:03:24] No, I’ll never be the number one Dan Hill on Google either.


Mary Rowe [00:03:28] Well, and Dan. And for all we know, Dan Hill and his- he may be viewing for all we know, and his family and his father. They have been very, very active in activism and community building in Canada for obviously, for a couple of generations. So we appreciate your leadership; the whole family, both musically and today we have them, you, carrying the torch. CUI? The Canadian Urban Institute is a national organization, as many of you know. I hope you know. And Toronto, where this broadcast is originated from and where I happen to be located is the traditional territory of many First Nations, specifically the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, and the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. It’s now home to many, many diverse nations, from many- and Metis people and Inuit. And we at CUI are continuing to come to terms with the legacies of exclusion that urbanism has perpetuated, in terms of how it has dis- continues to discriminate against the First Nations and People of Color. And we have as many of you know, had a series of sessions on CityTalk that focused on anti-Black racism. So we’re continuing to navigate this and figure out how we emerge in making cities more just, more resilient. And as I suggested, I’m just going to remind people what CUI is as we head into this interesting period of time. The next couple of months, I always feel September is the new year, although I realize it technically isn’t. And I’m just going to remind people that we have been engaged in a number of things that we’ve put up since COVID began. One is this site, which I have to get to refresh, called CityWatch, which is a way for volunteers across the country who are tracking for us. What the municipal governments are doing, what particular policies they’re implementing. And initially, the ones that we put in were ones that they weren’t acting. Now, increasingly, we’re updating us and showing ones that people are removing. So this is part of what I think we have to train ourselves to do, is be really keen observers to see how are we responding in the urban context in Canada. And this is the municipal government page. We also at the same time, put up something called CityShare, and that is- all these examples of community based innovation, of which there are I think, 686, as you can see, that’s at CityShare Canada. And again, powered by volunteers, people posting things that they think are innovative and illustrative of a different kind of way that we can be approaching communities and strengthening communities. And out of this work came a really strong awareness on our part, that we needed to start looking at what we were doing with Main Streets. And so hopefully I can show you that one, too. I have to get them. You are off. Not quite sure how I do that. Here we go. Hmm, it’s not letting me. Best laid plans folks, can’t show it to you, so. But it’s called Bring Back Main Street. Maybe it’ll let me sneak it in- there! It did. Bring Back Main Street, and that is a huge campaign, which I think Dan is going to touch on because he has done some work on the High Street in Britain and many of us know anecdotally, I just finished this morning, my morning walk down my main street. A lot of things happening in main streets are obviously where commercial activity takes place, but it’s also gathering places, places where people navigate with other people that aren’t like them. All sorts of social services, public services, parks, animation when when all the tension around equity is broken out over the last several months in cities around the world, where have people taking their frustration to the streets. So we think it’s very important that we be bringing back our main streets and we bring them back in new ways and different ways to support whatever urbanism is going to look like, post-COVID or through COVID even. And then the last thing in terms of CityTalk, the platform that we’re on now, as many of you may know, we’ve done about 60 of these and we post them all. So that’s a word of warning to everybody coming on. If this is your first CityTalk, just remind- to remind you. These are taped. They are then posted with a little summary. And we post the chat. So we encourage you to contribute in the chat function. But just, just know that whatever you put up there, stays up there and people will read it. And we’ve had thousands of people come and download these sessions. People are using them in classes now. I think it’s a really important kind of moment in time and archive of- as we’ve been evolving and trying to make sense of COVID, all these CityTalk sessions and they’re all there. And Dan’s session today, he’ll be joined by Cynthia Dorrington and Zahra Ebrahim. Afterwards, that session will be posted like this one, and you’ll be able to download it, send it to your friends, watch it in the middle of the night, whatever your preferences. The last thing that I want to point out to people is something that we are continuing to track. We started something called COVID100. And at a hundred days in June, we marked the 100-day moment, came out with a report, a Signpost report, trying to highlight what we think the sort of key risk factors were in that first hundred days. We’re heading into the second hundred days, the end of September, and we’ll be back on CityTalk, talking about what the findings of that second check count are. But part of our COVID100 website, this is called the, as you can see, is we asked previous CityTalk participants, of which there had been about 100, and- to give us one action that they thought we should be prioritizing. And if you need a moment of resp- if you need a moment of trying to take yourself a bit out of your own situation and think of it more broadly, I encourage you to scan this. It’s a remarkable repository of every kind of person, as you can see, are to get lots of change of office there, mayors and different kinds of activists and artists and designers and philanthropists and community organizers and city councilors and private business people. And there’s many, many, many, many, many of these people here. And I would encourage you, former federal politicians, there’s a few, I encourage you to spend some time with this, I think. I think, again, we need to take stock and understand what we’re coming through and what the implications are. And these sites that we’ve built, CityTalk, CityShare, CityWatch, Bring Back Main Street and this 100 Actions piece off the COVID100 site, I think are really effective framers. And so I just want to remind people that CUI does a lot of things. We are completely dependent on partners like you, and volunteers, and people with resources who contribute financially to make this happen. So I’m very, very pleased to start our fall season with you, Dan. Couple of things. If you want to volunteer for CUI, we always need volunteers, and so you can always do that. COVID response at, we’d love to hear from you. And if you have suggestions on how we continue to structure CityTalk, topics, sponsors, all that kind of stuff, love to hear from you. Just so you know, later in the month we’ll be coming back on housing because it’s becoming more and more critical here. And we’re gonna come in on COVID200 and lots and lots of issues that we’ll be focusing on. So, Dan, you’re kind of a man who needs no introduction. I kind of counter introduced you by saying who you weren’t. You’re not that Dan Hill, but you are now in Sweden. You are leading the innovation charge there. You’re a longtime urbanist and enthusiast for urban environments and really, you know, a quality that Jane Jacobs identified, which we appreciate, which is that cities are as much about observation as they are about- they’re certainly more of an observation than they are about prognostication or speculation. And so you’re a great, great keen observer and we’re very pleased to have you. So I’m going to give you a warm virtual welcome to deliver the first annual leadership lecture on cities, Dan Hill.


Dan Hill [00:10:51] Thank you very much. I’m going to just share my screen, and hope that you can see that. Just let me know, you can see that first slide, if that’s all right?


Mary Rowe [00:11:00] Yep, perfect.


Dan Hill [00:11:01] Yeah, cool. Okay. Thank you. And thanks so much, Mary. I’ve never been introduced as the other Dan Hill before. So that’s- that’s a new one for me. I’m pretty the only person usually in the audience that I speak to, that knows who the other Dan Hill is. Of course. Now, you’ve pointed it out to me I’m going to be thinking of nothing else. So anyway, this Dan Hill is coming to you from Stockholm, actually in my basement, which is I have a picture of a bit of a Swedish forest around the corner behind me. And I work in Vinnova, as Mary said. Vinnova is the Swedish government’s innovation agency. So we’re responsible for innovation across the country, it’s sort of making sure that innovation is fit for purpose in Sweden. I’ll talk a bit about the work there, but also talk about the fact that I’ve been around a bit, as we say. So I’ve lived and worked in Italy, Australia, Finland, the UK, which is where I’m from originally, and, um, projects all over the place. I always forget my affiliations and we always get in touch when I do that. So I’m a Visiting Professor at UCL in London and Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. And just to quickly get my background out of the way, so I design in my background. As you’ll probably tell from the way that I talk and I’ve worked on things like the Google campus, in the top-left corner where my team led the wayfinding strategy, working with lots of people there. Then you’d be in a building, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This is when I was at ARUP, the big design and engineering architecture firm. Barangaroo in Sydney in the top right there. But then also things like the city of Sheffield participation strategy. Also a bit about that in the bottom left, State Library of Queensland, in Australia, in Brisbane, which is where I started encountering indigenous culture for the first time, which is really interesting to talk about that so. Well, Mary, in your introduction and they’re also my background originally, though, is an interaction designer. or service designer, so that means the design of small things really. Well, large things, if you think about websites and the Internet as large things. But the way we interact with services, with digital things, with products, with communities. So my work’s become about cities over time. But originally it was the scale of, this is a cell phone I worked on actually a couple of years ago by the Swiss company Punkt, which is previously not a smartphone. It’s just a phone. It just does calls and texts and there’s no data on it. So it’s some- it’s actually about foregrounding the environments around you. Don’t know what James Vickers would’ve made of that, but it’s- it was an interesting thing to work on. So that’s my background and where I’m coming to you from, just for a bit of context, is this bit of Stockholm, Gamla Eskende, it’s called. It was designed- that’s what it looks like now. But it actually hasn’t changed much probably, since it was laid out in about 1905, 1917. That’s one of Sweden’s first Garden City plans. Like many plans from that time, it was- it was built on fields to expand the city as the slums were getting overcrowded in the middle of Stockholm, and Stockholm was quite a poor place at that point. It just works, the turn of the 20th century or the 19th into the 20th century. So this Garden City model is imported largely because you probably all know from the UK and Germany, people like Ebenezer Howard and deployed here. And it’s actually pretty good as they often were rolling around the landscape, sort of light to medium density, lots of green space folded into it, lots of urban agriculture, basically walkable, active streets, tramlines of the city center. I mean, it’s pretty much what you do now. given a free hand, maybe a touch more density. But actually, it’s pretty good; schools and amenities, things like that. But then what happened was this. And this is about 1935, this film, and don’t worry if you can’t hear it. But this was sort of effectively like a propaganda film on path- the car made by a Swedish newsreel actually. And you see, this is Stockholm at the time. And you see those kids playing in the streets. And this film is sort of saying, okay, those days are over. This is now about the car. This guy is my personal hero, in the film they refer to him as Mr. Stockholm, and he’s a sort of single handedly holding back the traffic trains that almost hold back the tide of the automobile industries almost by himself. I mean, it’s a considerable gap between. So this film was made all over the world. Obviously, people in Canada and the US, it’s hard to watch because the sound near misses out- I hope the video was playing for you, I think. There he goes again. So he is kind of really making the case that the street now is for the car, kind of the technology at the time. It argued the big tech of the time and people just need to get out of the way. So what happened to Eskende where I am is that this road came through in about 1958 called Nynasvagen and you can kind of see if you look at that, you can see where the roads were originally cutting across there. If I just illustrate, into these  natural desire lines carving through- my house is over to the right a little bit, where we rent currently. And this just slices right through. I mean, again, no surprise to people and in Canadian cities because this was happening there as well. So this is what you get now. So you know what? One of those white arrows, I expect it sort of supposed to go across to the left. Now, there’s this road. It’s about 85 decibels in the road. Anyway, this- in Sweden by 1955 was Europe’s most car-dense land. Just in case you think that Sweden is some kind of utopia. Sometimes people from an outside view have that perception. Of course, there’s pretty amazing things about it. But there’s also the kind of issues that we have elsewhere. And my starting point for that is really looking at technology like the car in that case. And I borrowed this quote from my compatriot Cedric Price, who said in 1966, “Technology is the answer. But what was the question?” And of course, the tech at the time, around the time when that road was being put in was- was the car. He was really sort of asking, okay, well, there’s the car. But, you know, what does Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal actually want to be? Like, what is the city about? How should we move around then? Then we can have a conversation about the technology. Of course, that didn’t happen. Humans are very quick to jump on technical solutions. As you know, and nothing- and what our role is as urbanists or designers or planners or activists or politicians or whatever you are, is to step back and ask the question carefully first. What kind of city is this? What is this city about again? Then the tech is the easy bit. So it really means swapping out the outcomes and the enablers really carefully and just to put it- I’ll put it this way. You know, we don’t make cities to make buildings. Buildings are an enabler of the things we make cities for. They’re absolutely necessary, particularly, and occasionally snowy countries like Canada and Sweden. But cities are about culture and community and commerce and conviviality and, you know, things beginning with ‘C’ like that. Those are the outcomes we’re shooting for. And then, of course, you use token buildings and infrastructure, to enable those things. But it’s amazing how frequently we get that the wrong way round, particularly in a culture when, let’s say a property developer is holding quite a lot of the cards and it sort of is their job to make cities, the buildings or other buildings in that way. So I kind of understand the issues there. But I’m just saying from a wider urban point of view, we need to ask that again. The conversation needs to be about what’s the city about. Then we can have a conversation about the buildings. And so just in case you think I’m sort of anti-tech in some way, I’m actually a technologist deep down. My first degree was in computer science, so I’m kind of interested in it and fascinated by it. And there are interesting things about it, so it just depends what we do. In the top left there, that’s an autonomous shuttle, self-driving bus basically designed and in Finland, which is interesting. So it’s made from minus 25 degrees C, centigrade. So, the interior we lose by muj- we actually do have interior designers in Finland, obviously, but for some reason threw that to Japan. But this sort of fits the surroundings and that’s really important. Not everywhere in the world is like kind of like California, as you know. And there’s an association with self-driving vehicles in California, but there’s many more self-driving vehicles outside of California, often better attuned to the environment. The key question maybe is then who owns this thing and runs it? Is this part of public transport or is this private? Is this uber? Is this community? It could be community and you know, one of the more expensive parts of running a bus is the bus driver. And if you assume these things can run without a bus driver, a question mark, maybe you want a conductor or a local guide, which they did, then they could run in places where counting some theory and uneconomic to do so, like in rural environments or lower density environments or off peak in the middle of the night and so on, which is actually really interesting, but it depends on how you do it. If it’s Uber running it with all your expense, Uber- it won’t run. And there’s often times or rather it’ll be horribly expensive if it is. So there’s a real equity question even about that simple tech. The one in the middle is renewable energy. Obviously, it’s a microgrid bike system, it’s actually in Australia, in Perth. It’s got solar storms in the roof. Battery storage in the basement. So St. Mary lives next door to me in an apartment there. And I like Mary, so that’s cool. We can share the energy that’s being generated on our roofs and stored in the basement. But say Mary wants to watch the Champions League football team, which is what I imagine she’s going to do. She needs a few extra kilowatts. Then I’ll throw her the kilowatts. And she’s a nice person. She’s my friend, so fine. Say we fell out for some reason. Say she made me a bad linguini last week or something. Do I give her the kilowatts at that point? We never had to think about that before. We’d never made energy quite so social in that way. It’s just electrons in the wall and we just turn it on usually. But now it’s coming from the roof and it’s part of our fabric. It’s basically called a shared space. That means we need to approach that as much as a sociologist and psychologist, community liaison worker, an interaction designer, as an engineer. So it is really, really important that we get this tech right in that way. I wouldn’t go through the rest of the things that make things at hand. So when tech leads that, as some of you will know from your Toronto experience of recent years. It’s a bit like the property developer leading it in a way where they can, with all due respect to property developers who are a Catholic and diverse group, so that means you can’t cast everybody in the same aspersion, but property developers make buildings, tech companies make tech, not necessarily about the city. And we can see, though, with things like Uber and Lyft and Solin, where they’ve increased congestion in cities that already have congestion problems as much as 40 percent. When someone like San Francisco or increased AirBnBs, increased rents in cities like Barcelona, which already have an affordability problem, and then that pushes that higher. So unless we handle this carefully, all of this tech is not so smart after all. And there’s an issue there from a design point of view, because often Uber, for instance, will look at it as an interaction designer. So it’s an exemplary piece of work. It works really well as an app, clearly. It works incredibly well for individuals, sort of works well as a service, although it’s clearly bankroll hugely by venture capital. What does it do to the city? Well, 40 percent increase in congestion. So that right hand side is largely unconsidered often and in the world of urban tech. And that’s super problematic. Doesn’t have to be that way. This is Oslo Bysykkel, which is run by Urban Sharing, which is the Oslo-based startup in Norway. This is a completely typical day in Norway to see you know, it’s always sunny in Oslo, as I’m sure you’re all aware. And it’s a beautiful product. It’s really well-made from an industrial design, interaction design, point of view. But perhaps more interestingly, it’s sort of what it’s impacting in terms of the wider civic relationship. Calling it Oslo Bysykkel immediately makes this connection that it’s the city’s bikes. It belongs to Oslo itself. There, you are as a citizen in the city. Therefore, on the bikes- they’re your bikes, you’re part of Oslo and on. In London, the bike sharing scheme is called Santander Cycles. And Santander is a small town in Spain. Actually, it’s a big Spanish bank and that’s the bit that sponsors the bike sharing scheme. So what is my relationship with Santander Cycles is if I’m riding a bike. It’s certainly not the same as this nice charactable Oslo  Bysykkel situation, and weirdly or interestingly or just to be able to prove Oslo Bysykkel’s maintenance costs are much lower than most bike sharing schemes. And I think, we think talking to open sharing, this is all their work, by the way. That’s because they created a wider link with the city and people take more care of the bikes. It’s very subtle in that relationship, the civic, in between individual and the city. But in London, you know, sort of know, Santander can afford to pull up like a brick canal if I put it back in the wrong place. They are big Spanish banks. So, again, I don’t really think of them in the same way. They’re not mine. You know, they’re sort of theirs. Oslo bikes- mine if I’m living in Oslo. So they also share data openly with the city, the municipality, which, again, most tech startups tend not to, or they ask for money back for that in some way. But urban sharing, share all the data, which enables the planners to see these interesting routes that they can maybe put a bus line around, they paint the names of sort of common Oslo names on the bikes. People take Instagram photos of themselves riding the bike with their name on it. You know, it’s all of these things are really subtly creating this civic relationship. I think a full Nordic brownie points. Oslo Bysykkel use their maintenance crew- is recently released Norwegian prisoners from jail. So they’re trained to fix the bikes in jail before they’re released. They go back onto the streets. They go straight into a job, a meaningful job in society or a civic job. It’s actually pretty pragmatic. I mean, it’s this very lovely, I think, Norwegian or Nordic balance of pragmatism, the deeply pragmatic culture, as is often the case in places with bad weather and civic, sort of a harmonious civic sensibility or something wider than the individual, which you might call the Nordic model or in our country, the welfare state. So here they didn’t have to do that. But they need the maintenance crew and frankly, prisoners are probably fairly cheap maintenance crew. And they’re good, you know. But there’s a wider relationship there, it’s clearly giving something back to the city at the same time. So here you can look at all of these three layers simultaneous. And to me, this is a classic strategic design principle. A Finnish architect in about 19- 1910s designed a chair and the concepts of the room and the room in the context of the house and so on. All those scales are connected. They’re all the same system. You put air conditioning in a house, doesn’t actually cool the air. It just moves the warm air outside. So still, the air is still warm. You have shifted the problem. So we have an issue with the fact that we parcel up and zone- put red lines around plots and so on. Saarinen said we need to see those connections, just like with the Oslo bike sharing scheme. So there’s kind of shifting lenses. One of the first things I’ll leave you with there, this engaging with the wider systemic impact of something. That’s what we have to do now that we increasingly understand cities as systems or cities as assembly. Jean-Louis Missika, the Deputy Mayor of Paris said a really interesting thing a few years ago about autonomous vehicles, he said we should announce before 2020 that in Paris, no privately owned or autonomous vehicles will be allowed; only mobility as a service, not as ownership. So if Mary has a self-driving Tesla, she won’t be able to drive into Paris. Sorry, ma’am. That’s the principle. Now 2020 is here now. and Jean-Louis has had other things on his mind. So they hadn’t really done much about that. But I think that’s what our job is, again, as designers or urbanists or planners or activists or whatever you are, to understand that to pick up the baton that he has put out there and say, well, how the hell is that going to work? So something my team did- ARUP, when he said- we were working for a large tech company, was understanding how could that work? And we made a short film just in a couple of days as a sketch. That was my old watch that was seeing that. And that’s the back wall of our studio and just overlay it all. Will Anna share the bus? How is that going to happen?How does the sharing happen? So we figured out you kind of need something like the bus, but it can do other things. One is by too, it becomes a bus stop. Not to mention it’s coming because we’ve had our talk on demand. And then another couple of people can walk past me and my team at the time. Terrible acting. I think that’s not what they were employed for. They see that and get in. So it’s no great kind of rocket science to understand how it’s possible. But it’s interesting to sort of take Jean-Louis’ comments about how will that work. This is one tiny little micro interaction around that. And it’s beginning to overlay those kind of questions, all of the questions implicit in Jean-Louis and his customer. Will she get into a bus with strangers? Will she trade off time against money? How does it interplay with public transport? A wide array of things. And you also start thinking, well, how does that city feel- this constantly moving, flowing objects moving around us and slowly around the way? Well, for me, enough. This is- this is a film from Sydney in 1906. There’ll be one of Toronto and Montreal and so on. And it’s just lovely to watch because you see this kind of ballet, what Jacobs would have called the Ballet of the Street playing a- you know, it’s just sort of constantly flowing. The pavement – is that a suggestion? You know, it’s not like a rule at all. It’s like, it’s almost like perfect jaywalking in action, which I like cause jaywalking is- anyway. So that’s what we sort of started sketching out. How would you get that kind of feeling? And then the second thing is, well, how do we then transform streets leaving a slightly autonomous thing or not. Generally, Mary talks about all of a transformation happening. So this was a separate project in Melbourne a few years later for Melbourne innovation districts. Looking at streets like this, which are barely streets at all, actually. I mean, it’s just a parking lot, really, in theory is a street underneath that thing. I mean, the CBD is just behind those buildings of the back there. So it’s really close to the most valuable bit of Melbourne. And the university is just behind us. RMIT universities is to the left. But this is basically been used as a parking lot. Total waste of space. So we said, okay, how do you transform this? The first thing we need to do is start gathering some data, and again, because a recent episode in Toronto, you’ll know, do that incredibly carefully. So we’ve set up conditions to be very clearly led by the municipality, not by anybody else. The municipality is the only people with a legitimacy on behalf of speaking for the people that voted in at a democracy. They can kind of take this kind of move. Other than the community themselves, that’s what you’ve got so needs to say, okay, cool down. If you want to know more about this project, what the project is about, what the data is gathered, how do you get the data, what you’re tracking, all of that stuff that’s marked on those little polls there. But that’s not telling you a pattern of the street. Then you realize you can probably shift the parking on the right side to the left hand side, just angle the parking on the left. We’re not really reducing the total volume of car parking at this point. We’re just moving it. It enables you to paint, paint a bike lane on the right hand side. And in this render, you know, my team then put one of the people are not wearing a helmet, that’s acually against the law, not to wear a helmet when you’re cycling in Australia. We did that on purpose to flush out the question, the assumption that could we get bike culture and safety to a point where you don’t need to wear a helmet. Leaving aside whether it technically is a good or a bad thing to wear a helmet, it’s like a whole rabbit hole we don’t need to go down right now, just to suggest that you could get the street that safe as it is, let’s say, in Amsterdam or Copenhagen, would be very interesting in Australia. So it’s a completely different discussion. Then we said we need to test this autonomous shuttle thing that we just heard about in Finland. This one’s a French one, by the way. So we don’t know if it works in other words in Australia, then if it works in plus 40 degrees centigrade, which it can be at streetside. So we need to see how that thing goes. What kinda journeys happen? It’s a prototype test. This becomes then a picture, right here. A pickup point on the left. You put in a bit of amenity, then start borrowing some greenery back from the park on the right and circling it with planter boxes. You still see, everything here is movable pretty much, everything’s a bit temporary. The flagstone’s gone in. But everything else, we can kind of back out if it’s the wrong decision until you can make the big move, which is this beautiful bluestone paving, and then you can really begin to fill it up. Now, you see, we have completely transformed the sense of the street. Of course, the value is completely different now, than heat island mitigation is going on. The temperature’s dropping five degrees in summer. Misting stormwater mitigation and increasing social fabric, which is increasing the air quality. It probably,   certainly increasing business, it’s increasing property value, if that’s what you wanted to do unsolaced. All of those things are coming out of this treatment. Previously it was parking, things, and that was it. The issue is, you know, I can’t take those cars away just like that and like ping it to that, it’s too easy to do that drawing. Really any good architect can do that drawing. And good architects in my team that did that drawing, wasn’t me, to be clear. But I can’t just pop from that to that. If I’m in Australia, if I try and touch those cars, those people will try and kill me. I think it’s almost like a human rights park. So I have to be very careful and do it step by step, hence this kind of what we call an adaptive strategy. Not only does this enable you to test the tech as you go, and by tech I mean paving flagstones as much as I mean autonomous shuttles, by the way, or plans of auctions, they’re all sorts of technologies. We need to test them, and pivot and adjust. But we can also take people with us on that journey. We can set up a North Star with someone cleaner. We want more resilient retail. We want, we want brain cancer to go down, we want Stormwatch mitigations to happen. So therefore, cheaper maintenance costs. We want reduced health care costs. All of those things you can say. North Stars. Well, what you’re not going to do is promise we know every single step in advance. Unfortunately, planning pretends that you can do that, Colonel. It’s like, tell me in eight years exactly what it’s gonna be like and how much concrete do you need. And we’re saying that’s just not the way to make anything like that these days. But nonetheless, we haven’t really changed that culture. But this enables a very participative, adaptive model. We, um, we took this model, actually, and also worked with the the city council in Amsterdam, the coming to Amsterdam and looked at how you unhook parking from population in this way. So this kind of wiggly line again and ended up in incredibly technical Dutch planning. Don’t worry about that. But that’s actually changed the way that the city thoughts about how do we think about provision of these things where we can adapt and back out of it, almost parking with a “use by” date, like a pint till North. Where they went to Melbourne was this plug and play kinda kits that you can start to build into those streets like that as well. So these are the sketches. This is the render. This is the real thing that came out, which is this kind of free floating, very adaptive, using the language of pop ups done with quality to fit in the gaps in between the buildings and start effectively as sort of them beginning to heal the landscape here, these otherwise dead spaces, hardscapes and parking spaces. You begin to see ripple in social fabric, greenery. And this also, though, is just a way of making decisions, a bit more adaptable. And I love this quote from Schattschneider saying, “Democracy is a political system. People are not sure that they’re right.” As a designer, I’m saying we’re not sure right all the time. Our job is to run towards the uncertainty and the ambiguity. Try to make sense of it. But that’s a real like, it’s such an ongoing struggle, as a lot of you will know. Can’t promise we know in advance. So you need to build in a slightly different way to enable that. It does mean what I call an adaptive design strategy. Then you got the participation. Which how do you do? Society connects everyone, some great technology at that, but this is a film I made a few years ago. The planning notices in the U.K., which are the things you put up saying there’s going to be a big building there in two years time. What do you think- what it’s going to be willing to change this road? Or it’s going to be this door is changing. I’ll skip it actually, I’ll skip that because you get the gist. All we do in London, yeah I put some Philip Glass under that film to make it extra sad, basically. But all we really do in a city like London is put up a piece of paper on the lampposts in the rain and ask you to have a look at it and then get in touch. And, you know, in a city of untold wealth, basically, that’s the best but most councils can do in terms of engaging people. I’m sure it’s better in Canada, but it’s often not better. And that really obviously, you know, it doesn’t really create a meaningful engagement. That’s all that sort of again, like, how do you like this plan? I’ve already decided. Well, we did in Helsinki at the time when I was working there was we make this platform called Brickstarter, which was a prototype of the way that people could post ideas with spaces, almost like taking kickstarts from throwing it to urban planning, hence, Brickstarter. And you could crowdfund things for sure, and of course, that was then a critique of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is not democratic in any way, actually, of course, because it’s Spanish based and funding and therefore projects to get more funding stand a better chance of getting up. You could say it’s just like, but just to get points out, it’s not Democratic. So we were looking at that. And there’s a book we wrote about it actually that gets into these tensions of crowdfunding versus participation versus democracy versus this core idea though that you can make the city legible to people and post ideas, dreams for spaces. I did this with Bryan Boyer  generally. So when we took those kind of principles, those affected, this has to be Helsinki’s participation strategy. But then we were sort of testing these new models for tech. But a few years later that we started looking at things like augmented reality. Could you use the physicality of site models, work with people unable and to move blocks around like this, but see the kind of impacts of those decisions? So if Anna changes that block, you sort of change the solar gain on the roof. We can then make a different decision. She’s informed about why it is this way or this way, or she might say, well, I prefer it this way because I can grow some answers. So then with Ericsson actually, we started looking at, you know, how you might do this kind of augmented reality, using things like 5G networks which Ericsson are interested in, obviously trying to use cases. So this is, again, purely speculative design. It’s a sketch, of course, and it’s showing you, again, this is proposals for the space situated in the space. You can post modifications to those things, post comments to them and things like that. So, again, all sort of mini- sort of minor steps forward, but not bad in themselves. I think what then the team Ericsson did working with UN HABITAT was really interesting, was that they took those principles that we worked on with them from a strategic point of view, and they worked in Johannesburg. But one of the other bits, their inputs university, and they built the whole city, around that place in Minecraft, based on a load on bottom, because Minecraft is a nice modeling engine. And there you go. You then rigged up a mobile phone, enabled you to work on the Minecraft modifications and the room and go out in the streets and look through the friend’s camera and see your modifications overlaid onto the real streets just as a speculative function. And so this is what you see through the camera. Obviously, if you know Minecraft, you can spot the Minecraft here, but you can also see the background. And this was a very early sketch demo that is kind of working. As you can see, it’s kind of occluding the cars buying the things. And just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that that’s the great bridge by the way, architecturally. It’s what was more important than was that people felt that they were making a mark on their city and they were doing a medium they were very comfortable with. Of course, Minecraft is actually super powerful as a modeling agent if you think about it. But it more importantly, it was the tool- a tool of those kits and the impact was amazing. Just run this and we can hear the sound. So this is going through another student looking at them for starters. Delight is what we can unlock when we start working with participation in that way. And just to say, that’s the sort of high tech version. Well, another project we did in Sheffield around the same time in Sheffield in the UK. We just drew the plans differently. So a very talented draftsperson in my team, Agostino, took the drawings from the plans, which are largely unintelligible. To humans, I think. Except sorry. And just turned them into these little vignettes and a hand drawing of the entire city. And those took him like three days to draw the whole city. And then we put them in the street and had conversations about them. And just by drawing it in pen as opposed to a planning drawing. This is, again, not rocket science, but it’s just remarkable how very rarely this is done. This old guy who’s about 130 years old, you know, was like pointing at the top right- topleft increments. And that’s when my granddad used to keep cows in the 1950s, something which is amazing. And we never would have had that conversation had it not been drawn like that in Sheffield City Councils, that they got more participation around this than they’d ever done in the past. Then there’s deeper participation, which is real codesign ownership. I think the Bau group when in Berlin, these co-operative housing projects, which are just extraordinary, and these ones in Zurich. This is an enormous scale that led by cooperatives, 50 co-ops making 13 buildings. The rent is 20 to 30 percent below market rate. But incredibly high quality, is way more sustainable usually than the market produces because you’re able to take the developer’s profit margin and plow it back into the project. And it might take, let’s say, six months longer, but it actually doesn’t take that much longer, to be honest, because you’ve already done the participation as part of the design phase. And for afterwards, we have to do the approvals. So it’s incredibly perfing. So then why are we not using these projects for a solid proportion of our buildings? In Zurich, the effects it’s to have is at almost a third of all of their buildings. Marrying co-op mode. A third, a private research one as well. So this participative design change is what you build. And it starts foregrounding the questions of ownership and care, maintenance, adaptation, a sort of incompleteness which is really how the city is made and used on going. But we rarely think about that again or get to think about that. We’re planning an architecture point of view. So another part of this is then how do you design the conditions to enable these projects to happen? Again, it’s all too easy to draw this. This is a lovely drawing by EFFEKT Architects of Space10, some of the projects Space10, the Ideas R&D lab. That’s the kind of bit. There’s the fun bit of the project. Making it happen, incredibly hard. As you all know. So what we did there was saying, okay, well, how would you build the team around that? Not that specific project, but another project. This is Amsterdam City and we’re working with the same sort of tools. We work with citizens actually, cut out bits of paper. These new technologies coming in. These are new cultures. What should we do about them? How do we assemble them pulling a diverse team together around these projects? Same thing in Sheffield with the library. Same thing in Stockholm with a new bit of Stockholm again. This- this is the. These people usually never meet. It’s the same municipalities. And we did- we did a question at the end of them having kind of unlocked a different project on the table that for instance like, what would be the team that you could design to make this happen? And that was really interesting because the white dots here are the ones that they usually had, urban planner, landscapes, systems, architecture, property development, basically. The other ones were things that were started coming from the team saying, okay, we really need a community liaison person, like participation expert. We need healthworkers, artists, historians. These guys are usually introduced at some point in the project, but they’re not part of the court, as I’m usually. So this was really interesting. We’re beginning to suggest it’s not about drawing the picture of what we want it to be. And that’s something to do with creating the conditions to enable that to happen. Far more important. So, again, this is this kind of set of relationships around on the right hand side. The city council teams and how they begin to change in order to produce a different kind of city. An example of this kind of strategic work. I’ll just talk about this, which is a project called, well, it started from actually a community activity called Ravintolapaiva in Helsinki. It was very hard about 10 years ago to start a small cafe or pop up where a start up or like a little coffee shop or whatever. You have to fill in a lot of forms. The community were pretty unhappy about that because they knew that other things were available. And so what they did, was that they sort of did an insurgency on the city itself. And what’s happening here for- that woman is making egg and bacon sandwiches in her top- in her apartment there and lowering them to the street, selling them for five euros a pop, basically about 40 people had said if we all do that on the same day, at the same time simultaneously, it’s kind of illegal. But no one can stop it because we’re doing it at such scale in a distributed fashion. So it’s sort of amazing the city changed like this. This is an Argentinean woman making empanadas in her first floor window. That’s a woman dressed as an empanada in the foreground advertising the place. That’s by some time of spring. I didn’t know there was an Argentinean woman living there in this apartment until the empanadas appeared and I was living around the corner. I was amazed, you know, so the city streets do when you unlock them, came alive. The regulations were just stopping this stuff dead for reasons of the usual reasons, health and safety and cost efficiency, things like that. But it was interesting seeing the citizens themselves again use this sort of moment so we can actually launch a social movement, say no, we want a kind of street food here. This is a Thai soup kitchen in the park. And you just see it’s kind of beautiful. It’s totally illegal. None of them have a permit to do this, sell, make and sell food in public. So it’s very, you know, very complex because like what does the city council- we talked to the deputy mayor. What do they do about it? And here’s a- I can’t really arrest them. Must be the worst PR ever. So they just sort of let it go. He went on to their Facebook page. And said like, “Have a nice day, be safe;” that’s the least sort of liability you could make for it. I mean, so these women are making egg and bacon flans- you know, the hardened criminals, basically, but clearly not at the same time. It’s such good urbanism, you can’t really stop. They use Facebook to organize it because that’s a weapon grade level tool for organizing. They made four mobile apps, four different systems simultaneously. In a way that, again, no municipality could do that. I did over a weekend for free. And the city changed or didn’t change, though, because pop ups pop down, state regulations didn’t change. This lovely kind of usually vacant kiosk went back to this after Restaurant Day. This is just a one day thing. So then it started running every four months, ran for four years, spread to 70 countries worldwide. It became kind of amazing. At which point Helsinki’s city got really interested. But it was still kind of illegal. Regulation hadn’t changed. So what did we do? Well, we said, well, we don’t need to do the street food thing because clearly people have had to do that. And we don’t need to teach them how to cook because they’re really good or bad. What we need to do is wrangle the bureaucracy around it into a different form, to sort of get into what I call Dark Matter. Why is it so hard to set up a little cafe? So we set up a kind of, set up a cafe school basically called Open Kitchen, and we work with the top chefs in the city and we ran a campaign for people to apply, almost like a MasterChef style thing. This is people then running this where they learned and not so much how to cook, actually, despite what this picture shows, but how to open a restaurant, how to fill in the forms, how to find a space, how to hire a team, how to get licenses. All of those kinds of things, where to get organic vegetables, which isn’t immediately obvious even if you’ve got a catering school. And so really interesting and actually a very diverse group of people, despite what this picture looks like. These people are from Somalia. Part of this seems to be Helsinki, people from Spain and so on. So it really foregrounded a bit with my, like Argentine anecdote. Who decides what street food can be? Who decides what food can be? Who decides what the street’s about? And how do we enable the system to learn about a new kind of diversity that’s in the city at this point? Helsinki isn’t the way it was in 1980. We don’t need that kind of street food. We need empanadas, basically. How do you- how do you regulate that? So crucially, we worked with this guy, Ville Relander, who is the City of Helsinki Food Project Manager. He was able to absorb the learning from this work where us as the interface, and absorbed back into the city and just begin to make subtle changes. And so this don’t worry about the words, but basically stuff happens on the left. Some of us did it with- some of it’s much more to do with citizens and what they did was by far the biggest impact, some of us didn’t reveal it. And then over the right hand side, you see via a wiggly-wiggly line, which is incredibly hard to trace. Things changed. The police changed, public works funnel changed. The environment center opens up and so on. Eventually, down the bottom, the city hired the founder of, let’s call it the Insurgency Movement Restaurant based. It’s become the head of the food conscious strategy. So they absorb the kind of culture into the bureaucracy institution. I’d argue that’s a very good thing. It wasn’t killing the culture. That was the city council learning. So this is making a context. I talk about that in this kind of stuff, the strategic design book. So I’m going to put, I’m just gonna now just make my last point and then we can talk. This is now moving in to Sweden. And the missionary into what we’re doing now.  We’re working very closely with Mariana Mazzucato who’s an Italian-American economist right now. And looking at how do we drive this new type of innovation from the government side and the public sector side, which is directly addressing systemic issues and challenges around climate resilience, public health and social justice at the same time. And those things are all absolutely linked and COVID makes this clearly super clear in a way that probably nothing else ever has before. So there’s- there’s Mariana and we’re working in a few areas and we’re, of course, inspired by movements like Paris’s 15 minute city and Oslo getting rid of its parking spaces, I’m going to talk about a mobility project now: Barcelona superblocks. I’m sure you’re aware of these things. And I know there are equivalents at the moment, Canadian citizens. So the mission we’re setting out in Sweden is again, so how do we do this really systemically? We really want to ensure that we’re building the capability to flip every street, not just the easy ones, not just ones in the center, not just the ones that we can do with pop ups, but then they pop down not just in summer because we have some summer streets programs, but actually all. Yeah. So that every street is healthy, sustainable and vibrant. And I mean vibrant in the sense that with life in it and that life could be a busy Friday night downtown kind of life, or it could be a very quiet street with just birds and butterflies. Ideally both, they’re both life right. But all of them have to be healthy. I can’t pick this street here and say, okay, that’s the healthy one. And all of those are unhealthy. From our point of view, from the quality point of view, it has to be all of them. And we’re looking there and obviously we can look at the- as I showed you with the Melbourne stuff earlier, the multiple types of outcomes that you unlock from this systemic approach. You can decrease- potentially decrease domestic violence using greenery in different ways. You can increase physical health. You can decrease maintenance costs and healthcare costs. You can increase economic performance all at the same time through the same kind of moves. Usually, however, the street is approached as one thing, despite the fact there’s a complex system. We’ve sort of given the streets to the traffic departments to run. So as a result, if you give the street to traffic, you got traffic planners, you’ve got traffic again with all due respect to my traffic planning colleagues. But the clue’s kind of in the name. We gave the street to gardeners. You’ve got gardens, right? So how do we open up the kind of diversity in that? So we’re looking at how do we put multiple questions into this complex thing called the street and pull multiple types of outcome out simultaneously, what you might call cobenefits. So these are the design sessions we do around that. We’re pulling in, again, very different organizations. We’ve got high school students on the right hand side. We’ve got car-sharing companies on the left hand side, all drawing on the same bits of paper. These are the amalgam drawings I pulled out of these workshops. Again, this kind of systemic thinking underneath this, I don’t want to overplay this, it looks about analytical. It’s not really. But this is just giving us kind of repeated patterns and insights coming from the actually, we talked about 400 different organizations through the multiple workshops and we find these kind of intervention points. What if we can build a kit that moves across parking spaces, parklet style with, you know, a program parking day, but begins to glue together systemically against changing the street. And what if, again, it’s not done purely by activists, but the government makes the kit for activists to use? So we’re looking at the wider glue, the systemic outcome and what we’re able to do then is say, ok let’s start with some streets. And we the people, we are designing the streets in the first instance in this case for school kids, which was streets around schools, the street outside the school, effectively who’s best to design that? Well, the school kids are. So that’s what’s happening in the first instance. We’ve also done the same technique, by the way, with our Prime Minister, who’s that person there, Stefan Lofven. And the health minister next to him, to the right, I won’t tell you who is better at this exercise, by the way. But this is what came out of the kids’ design sessions. And it’s lovely, of course, with kids, they’re very good designers; outdoor gyms, fake plants, seating and so on. And we’re beginning to have a sense of the transformation. Then we- we run those through some architecture firms and the city’s planning departments, and it begins to feel like this. These street elements then become this kid’s apart. Now we’re thinking this is kind of like almost like Lego or IKEA like system made out of timber, by the way, cross-laminated timber that you can stretch and adapt to fit the street like a kind of stretchable boardwalk. And the boardwalk is an inspiration for us because we got a lot of those in Sweden. This is the timber now turning up. The factory that we started this a year ago. And I was kind of beginning to be a machine and it’s going so these streets this month. So they’re beginning to be alongside other things like proper planting and so I was testing these elements. And it’s very, very small steps, and we don’t want to overplay this. But this is a system that could theoretically scale across the country because you know what? Parking spaces are everywhere. We’ve built more parking space than we’ve got residential space in Sweden. It’s 40000 kilometers of street like this. And you can approach that as code. You know, there’s like one parking space law that governs the whole thing. We unlock that law in this way, the whole country becomes addressable. But crucially, who decides what happens there? Well the street does. And that’s what we’re trying to get the participation model so that the street itself, the residents and the users of the street, effectively use the kit to decide what they want to have there and they can modify the kit. So it’s like an open source kit of parts in that way. And this really foregrounds the political aspects of the street, actually political as in the making decisions about shared assets, shared decisions about shared things. I love this quote from Saskia Sassen about the street being where new forms of the social and political can appear. And this comes at no accident. We’ve been through this very strange year so far, amazingly horrifying and also full of some- how do I put it? Notes of light at the same time, as Mary put it in the introduction, which is kind of, you know, just too complex to think about. But it’s happening on the street. COVID clears the street, Black Lives Matter fills the street, which is sort of, the street is where those things play out. So it’s kind of, again, no accident that this is where it happens. It’s no accident the protesters march across the freeways that cut African-American communities apart in the US in the same way I showed you in Sweden with the freeway at the stop. And it’s running- it’s really interesting and inspiring what’s come out of that movement, these deep questions about, OK, how do we take a space? Fine, but then what do we do with it? This is, I think, where you like this quote from Nikkita Oliver, mayoral candidate in Seattle, so that it actually serves the community. Again, this is getting over this sort of pop ups pop down problem. You can organize a protest march. But then what? She’s really saying, no we need to go deeper, we need to lock this in now. And it’s all kinds of questions. This is a lovely installation at ArkDes called Meadow or Infield, rather, by Linda Tegg, an Australian artist and she’s just asking about what is greenery in public space. And this begins to feel like, well, this could begin to move across the street. So I just talked about the really powerful work, I think, around biodiversity, the moments that Julia Watson is documenting with her book Lo-TEK about in nature-based technologies that indigenous communities have been working on for 40000 years in some cases. How does this begin to meld with cities? Incredibly interesting question. I think probably the big question coming next. All of this is about how do we move our mental model, you know, like what’s going on in this so-called open pocket. So I’ll just close by just talking about what’s happening right now. This kind of sense that we’re in, this funny moment, funny, not ha-ha, odd, peculiar moments where a cone of curves are coming and going and things are sort of shifting up and down. According to the first curve, of course, flattened cars right away. My drawing here suggests that we have a question as to what cars go back to, just as we do with aviation. Aviation is all dead as a dodo at the moment, more or less. Aviation bosses are saying I might take four or five years before I get back to normal. I’m still asking what does it go back to as part of the question here, doesn’t have to go back up to a hundred percent to what it was absolute. Given that, you know, only about 15 percent of the planet has flown. That’s the total number of people that have ever been in a- in an airplane, about 15 percent, 18 percent of the population. And yet where you sort of devote so much time and space. I mean, that’s basically you know, two airports and airport expansion alone. That’s got to be a question at this point, having turned the engines off. So the question about, you know, how does the traffic flow? And then what does it go back to? Do we want- I can put the trade off like this; birdsong or traffic. Birdsong diminishes as traffic increases. The birds were struggling to make themselves heard of a car truck problem in Toronto, anyway. Question, what should it be? How does the street pan out? Once we go through, is it about vehicles largely. Or do we want to shift the balance to these other things? These are the kind of questions in front of us. I say us. We. It’s not me saying this. This is a decision we have to take. This is public space. So finally, there’s a- there’s an opportunity to think about this in a very powerful way in terms of mental models. Mary and I talked about this before the talk. This is super important thinking. So forgive me, but in the spirit of provocation, Danny Dorling is an Oxford University geographer and he just pointed out that most things are beginning to slow down. Most things. So most patterns of data associated with growth, what I call the great acceleration, are beginning to tail off. That doesn’t mean that stopping, you know, Shanghai is getting bigger, but its rates of growth is now slowing down. Well, population is now slowing down. These account graphs he has on this chart, just Indian population slowing down, the Japanese population, as you know, it’s absolutely slowed down. Japan and Italy theoretically it’d be half the size of the population, half the size of what they are now. World population getting less and less every time someone runs the numbers. So it’s not that it’s not growing again. And yes, of course, Canada and places like that are growing, but the rate of change is slowing down. So I was looking at the Canadian statistics. I think it’s called Statistics Canada, I’m speculating. You see these prognoses about how Canada will grow. And these numbers, I’m just saying are changing now all the time. Again, not to freak people out. And so it’s going to drop because it’s going to grow at the rates of growth, which drives a lot of the economic thinking, will change. So, for instance, the UN population focus now are now thought to be two billion out by many, many researchers in this field, which is a big number. So what do we do about that? Well, part of it is goes back to things like actually like 15 Minute City in Paris. Super interesting. A journalist who has worked on post-traumatic urbanism is absolutely something to think about now, which is basically admitting the city back together and is far more diverse, distributed ways. We’ve seen similar things like that after World War Two, this is Aldo Van Eyck’s playgrounds in Amsterdam that were built in pondsites or the end of streets and began to kind of heal the city. And it’s very distributed, almost what I call like a polka dot plan. Not a big centralized central part model, but multiple small pieces loosely joined. You see this right now. This is Shift Architecture Urbanism’s plan for Rotterdam markets, not three big central food markets, but actually 50 or 40 or 50 small local neighborhood markets, far more diverse, more embedded in the community, more surface area if you like. More possibility of diversity. So it becomes more like this pattern of dots as opposed to two or three big ones. So the last thing I’ll say is that there are examples of that at the scale of Rotterdam and these nice cozy European cities. Like Rotterdam is not that cozy, people have been there, but you  know what I mean, but also Tokyo is like that and Tokyo is like the biggest urban area in the world or less. So, you know, it’s sort of we can talk about scale in an interesting way here. Dorling shows Tokyo’s population, you know, it’s more or less at a halt. It stop growing out of the suburbs. That’s what the structure- stopped going out into the center. The kind of pendulum is just settling now. You end up with a kind of a bin- there’s no one center of Tokyo. There’s just hundreds. And that’s actually based on the Tube or the Metro network subway network. Each of those is a little base. Once you get out of the station, now you’re in this, which it is very walkable, very small, humble back streets, which are just beautiful and full of life and possibility and diversity in different ways. It’s quiet and noisy and safe and interesting all simultaneously. The logistics looked like this, just sort of extraordinary. The architecture can be incredible or banal, but it’s constantly churning itself in the same sites, repairing and healing itself. It’s not rapidly accelerating. It’s actually just slowing down and making things more carefully. So you find these tiny pocket moments of repose, which is sort of fascinating. So this is what I talk about. Yes, 15-minute city. But the one minute city of the street, looking outside your front door, that’s where we can talk about really regenerative landscape, real shared ownership and participation at that scale. And the 1 minute and the 15 minute and the 30 minute or whatever, they all fit inside each other like Russian dolls. There’s relationships between them. But I think it’s very powerful to start talking about these kind of scales of again, one minute. So this kind of slowdown of everything potentially doesn’t mean the end of economy. It doesn’t mean the end of progress. It actually means a switch towards social progress rather than growth for the sake of growth. Japan, to some extent told that story. Other places beginning to tell a story. And this is the transition on around climate resilience, human and non-human health, and social justice. And this is all intertwined at the same time. So I’ll finish with a quote by a writer I love called Gautam Bhan in India. And he talks about the postponing. He’s writing about Indian smart cities, actually, which is a classic kind of great acceleration moment. And he says it’s just been a failure. The postponement of that is also the survival of the ordinary and the everyday survival of citizens of a city and of infrastructures, of everyday dignity, of a big, signature, just spectacular products. And I think that is in its own way, as spectacular as the big project, the infrastructure of everyday dignity. That would be a good point to end the talk, I think, for something or us to think about. Thank you very much for listening. I’m sorry if I went on a little bit, Mary, back to you.


Mary Rowe [01:03:53] Dan, fabulous, just terrific, just terrific to have you. And I’ve been gathering the chat having lots of exchanges with people and they’ve been fascinated. Just to reassure everyone, yes, the broadcast will be posted. Yes, you’ll be able to see the slides, et cetera, et cetera. And it will be interesting if maybe one of our colleagues will be able to actually do a distillation of some of the references you’ve made because you refer to a lot of people through your talk. And maybe, maybe we’ll create a little resource page so people-.


Dan Hill [01:04:22] Totally, I can send you- can send you footnotes.


Mary Rowe [01:04:26] Yes, exactly. We’ll take the footnote symbol, post those, because I know I’m like, I’m sure I’ve been making notes as I’ve been listening and fabulous pull quotes and lots of provocation for folks. So I’m going to invite Cynthia and Zahra to turn their video on and hopefully they will join us. There, magically, there’s Zahra Ebraham coming in from Toronto and there’s Cynthia Dorrington coming in from Halifax. This is modern technology. So we have these, we did have Cynthia there. She’s there. So we’ve got- we’ve got three different time zones. And we appreciate that Dan is delaying his supper to be able to continue with it. And I’m wondering if we could, I’ve got lots of questions and notes, but I’m going to first go to you, Cynthia, to just offer a few of your observations and questions. Just start us off and then Zahra, you can chime in and Dan, you can respond as we go. And if people want to put more questions up on the chat, please go ahead and do so and I’ll try to feed them into the conversation. So over to you, Cynthia.


Cynthia Dorrington [01:05:21] Dan, your discussion was fantastic. It really is the people who have to ascertain how we move forward as a city, a town, a community. I think most importantly, a lot of what you’ve spoken about really is how we plan the future for where we live, how we implement that, how we evaluate it and how we adjust. And in like a circle of life in regards to looking at circle of the community and how your community continues to evolve, I think, most importantly, as a community, as a city and- and where we live at, we have to take into account the various people that live here, that work here, that play here. And I think sometimes the decisions from the past were always the municipalities or the city councilors off the day and and I think now we have to look differently at what we, as citizens living in and our communities, what we need for the future. You made a very good point. In one of your slides, when you talked about automobiles. And I think COVID has changed our world. And we have the opportunity now to change the narrative. We have the opportunity to have the discussion on what that looks like because we will be creating a new society, we’re the new norm. We are never go back to how we were in the past. This is the time. And actually this is a really great point and a really great conversation to have right at this time, as we start to open up our cities and trying to determine what does the city look like as we move forward. As we know, masks in Canada. And I’m in Nova Scotia. So masks are mandatory in our province now. So when we can talk about different components of what is required for our people to be safe, I think planning the city talks about the safety and allows you as a citizen to be a part of what that city looks like. It also is inclusive of the diversity that the city brings, the richness of that city. And it also talks about what the city is going to look like as we move forward and what it needs to look like as we move forward. So great conversation. I took quite a few notes and I’m glad that Mary mentioned that we probably get a slide deck because it really talks to engagement at this point. And I think this is the time to have the engagement and start the discussion. It’s a changing world and we’re in the point of change. And this is a change that it’s going to be for the better for all. All cities, towns, communities across the globe.


Dan Hill [01:08:09] Thank you, Cynthia. That was great.


Mary Rowe [01:08:12] Zahra, do you want to throw in a couple of comments and then we’ll get down to respond and I’ll feed some stuff in from the chat.


Zahra Ebrahim [01:08:17] Yeah, for sure. I, too, have lots of notes. And I couldn’t decide on my computer, on my notebooks. I’m looking everywhere. You know, Dan, I also really appreciate it. The talk of, you know, as we were talking before- before we went live, I’ve really appreciated your work, mostly because at an institutional level, you’ve talked about how do we integrate participatory practice as our orientation practice as city builders. And so I really appreciate the sort of leveling power that happens when we do that kind of work and making the future of the past so that people can actually engage with what they’re designing. I think what I want to comment on is a “yes and” to everything and- and appreciate that in the chat there’s a lot of questions around- can happen in Toronto? Are we doing this, are we doing enough? There was a great reflection on Vancouver. And I want to sort of reflect a little bit on why I think this isn’t happening in this moment. And, you know, ultimately, it comes down to the crisis of you know, distribution of power and resources. Who’s asking the question about which interventions? We’re doing a participatory design project around, who is sort of directing the goals that municipalities are making choices around. And so, you know, as you were talking, I was thinking about one of your books, “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses”. And I think I have it right when you talk about a plot like, you know, using a plot device to do something bigger and McGuffin. Design is very much a plot device to advance the conversation on power in cities and who has it. Because to do the project, you see all the people who are surprised by engagement, by getting the opportunity to interact. And there’s your data. These are the folks that are actually typically interacting. So I guess the question or comment I would put out is, you know, one of the things I’ve been doing recently is interrogating my own participatory design practice. And one of the things that’s become so obvious has been the, you know, who the proverbial ‘we’ is collecting the data, making the decisions and doing the analysis. And I’ve just finished a project where my colleague, Kofi Hope and I have done a scan of municipalities across the country, looking at how their engagements and participatory projects engage or don’t engage equity seeking groups. And only one municipality, I really hope you’re on the call, Grand Prairie, Alberta, because you were the only one who in your content talks about analyzing the data. So collecting is one thing, but the bias that comes with taking all the information you’ve got from a participatory engagement and then going away and turning it into something beautiful and an actual designer intervention is the piece I think, that we’re really missing. And I know it’s very specific and very nitty gritty, but I think we talk about co-creation. We don’t talk about that analysis and decision making piece. And so. So just one. One more thing. And then. And then I’ll stop talking. But the beauty of being a speaker that’s off video for the first forty five minutes is I get to go collect all my favorite artifacts, which I did. I grabbed Antoinette Carroll’s “Equity-Centered Community Design” field guide, which I hope we can link to. But I think the real way to start using all of the things we talked about in deeply shifting power is these- she has these three circles. I’ll read them. Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you all to read them. But she has these three core circles that really amplify the impact of the things you talked about. The first thing, understanding the historic moment that we’re in, whatever historic moment we’re in, we’re always in one. The history and healing that needs to happen for people to actually engage, given the context of the moment, and then acknowledging and dismantling power constructs, then going into codesign. And that can be done in small, medium, large, extra large ways. But I think that that piece is the piece I would layer into all of your suggestions around codesign.


Mary Rowe [01:12:16] Zahra, we have some requests for the study, too.


Zahra Ebrahim [01:12:20] I’ll- the study is not live yet. It will be live later this fall. It was a partnership between the City of Toronto, Gregg Lintern, who is on the call, our chief planner and the Wellesley institute. So it’ll be live later this fall.


Mary Rowe [01:12:33] OK, Dan, go ahead and respond. And then to what both Cynthia and Zahra said, whatever you want to offer. Then I’ve got a list of things I want to pull in from the chat.


Dan Hill [01:12:40] Yeah. Thank you both, Cynthia and Zahra. I mean, really. I mean, you know, my- my mind is now spinning with lots of “yes ands”. And so just on the last point, Zahra I think. Yeah, I feel like we’re in Sweden, the work I’m doing now is so improvised, actually, I must- I’m just gonna be honest about that. We’re really trying to push quite a long way, as you can see, in a way that we’re possibly moving too quickly. I just saw one of the comments flashback about people with disabilities. And I literally had this conversation this morning about the lip on that piece of wood- looks a little bit blunt to get a wheelchair over, you know, so which I would have liked the designers to have thought about a couple of weeks ago. But, you know, that’s the kind of- we’re sort of at that stage of the project. And so equally, the first four streets that have been done, the schools that were available to do that, with which Stockholm municipality made available. I would have kind of filed under, again, if I’m honest, the easy ones, as in they’re in the kind of inner suburbs city center, as in the sort of relatively I mean, the less like perfect example of 19th century streets. They’re just being totally underused. You know, they’re not in a tougher bit of time, basically. And so we’re having a conversation with places like Husby and Rinkeby in Stockholm, which are more- much more challenged communities in multiple ways about how do we play that same process out there and what can we learn from that. So I’ve set this up as a massively learning process. Me giving you this- me giving you this talk is for me massively learning. And now I have a Antoinette’s reference to follow up. So thank you. Because when you’re doing this, you realize you’re unpicking so much simultaneously. This is if I’m picking the entire practice of planning, the whole focus of the municipality, the value model with which we judge streets by, which is not just cost and efficiency, but could be, in my case, social justice, climate resilience, public health. That’s 180 degrees shift. Technically, there’s a million things to get through. There’s like some of the parking space more. What perennial shrubs might work in winter? All of that stuff at the same time. And I love it because it’s working in a way like I’m trying to find what I call these everyday complex objects, like streets and schools and farms and forests that have all of those things simultaneously. As with my funny arrow diagram, where it’s going from one arrow, which is the easy one- easy way to manage a street for traffic to all of the arrows. It’s just incredibly challenging. So in a weird some sense when I give the talk, particularly, you know, sort of like this a long way away and you can’t see in my body language, it might look more considered than it is. And actually, I’m- I’m just kind of moving in all directions simultaneously, trying to explore how we as a system can change because that feels like the right thing to do, to roll up their sleeves and dig in and learn through doing by making something. But I think that’s what I took from both of your comments. Actually, both, both of you, both were both very kind of careful and considered when I sort of now feel like I should pretty- I need to rethink a couple of things about the way we’re approaching it. Either the communities we’re doing it with or you mentioned history, both of you, in different ways. And the last thing you want is like a white male European talking about reparations. But we are in that context right now. That’s why he’s repairing as a a verb absolutely with the kind of projects we’re doing. And so it’s yeah, for me, it’s incredibly challenging, but completely thrilling at the same time. And I just enjoyed your responses and what’s going on in the chat, which is kind of like a whole.


Mary Rowe [01:16:38] Yes, there’s a whole- there’s, we always say that there’s a whole parallel universe in the chat and we- and then the chat people start to have a whole relationship with each other. You guys are really incidental to them. They’re having a good time on their own.


Dan Hill [01:16:51] I know, exactly. It’s like they’re in the kitchen.


Mary Rowe [01:16:54]  I’m- I want to pursue a couple things. This notion of linearity you were talking about how the street, you know, is this. But actually the street is all these things. And I think our work is highlighting this for us, wondering whether we should be renaming it bring- bring back or bring forward your street, that the street is everything and it’s not. And it’s the fundamental building block that connects us in it. For some reason, people of our age think it’s only about cars, but we- we don’t, I mean, I, I think people want to know where those little films came from, even though the sound, we couldn’t always hear the sound because it was fighting with your voice. But the guy trying to halt the traffic? I think people wanted, I think a lot of people are keen to see that one again.


Dan Hill [01:17:33] I know, I need to like find who that guy was and give him posthumously a medal of some kind. It’s just you will have films like that in Canada. I said one of the old films is from Australia, but the National Archives will have films. I just went Google, rather, I actually used a search engine to find traffic films in the 1930s and you’ll just find them for sure. There you go. So instructive.


Mary Rowe [01:17:55] There’s your tip. Use Google. So, Dan, let’s talk about winter.  We- we in the Northern Hemisphere are hunkering down now. There’s snow in Colorado, four states over there, where are forest fires today. We have parts of Canada that are anticipating snow will fly sooner rather than later. We seem to have mucked about in terms of getting people into patios and vibrant street life. What is your sort of sense of what we should be focusing on as we head into the colder months?


Dan Hill [01:18:26] I don’t think- I think it’s- it’s a challenge, right. It’s not a- it’s not a showstopper. The thing is that it’s that shifting of the emphasis from saying this street is for traffic. Therefore, for instance, maintenance by snow clearers, the superimportant. Remember doing that, seeing this in Helsinki for the first time, which was, you know, it’s pretty cold and seeing many streets just denuded of trees and then pulling on that thread and discovering that basically city council officials said it was just easier to get the snow clearer through if there’s no trees on the street. And it’s sort of like we’re making- we’re making the streets for the snow clearance. So that’s what I mean by these 180 degree shift. So I- I have every confidence in people’s creativity to figure out ways to live outside. And I mean, here it gets to minus 20 degrees. We have a saying in Sweden, as you know, it’s like there’s no, you probably have exactly the same slang and claim it’s yours, but there’s no such thing as bad weather. It’s just about clothing. So in Swedish, the alphabetic is that clothing is klader and it rhymes with vader, which is weather anyway. So. So what the question is, what’s the good clothing for the street?


Mary Rowe [01:19:35] Right.


Dan Hill [01:19:36] Super interesting design brief. Someone else in the chat said landscape architects have been figuring it out for years. Absolutely have. And I was- I would also, there’s a lovely another quote from Aldo Van Eyck, who is the Dutch architect that did the playground thing I mentioned briefly. You can dig this one out. He just talks about how kind of when it snows, it turns the whole city into a playground. And it’s like kids just love it because they know exactly what to do, there’s no cars, everything kind of goes quiet, you know, then you get all these funny mounds and shapes, which might be cars, might not. And so for, it’s just a lovely idea that it just becomes this playground all of a sudden. And then the snow melts and it kind of goes away. So it can be canopies, it can be, you know, and it can be different types of planting. There’s just numerous ways. And then yes, it needs to work for elderly and young alike and it needs to be safe and secure. That’s like a no brainer. But it’s- but I think this, I just think it’s such an interesting design challenge. And it’s one that is not asked. So it’s just not asked because basically the street as well. Let me just shut down for five months, you know, and the smoke clears and got through, but nothing else is going on. Well, that’s just the biggest waste of our biggest asset, it’s just like, you know, twenty five, thirty percent of every city is street.


Mary Rowe [01:20:53] Right. And it’s, and it’s owned by the public. It’s owned by us.


Dan Hill [01:20:57] Exactly.


Mary Rowe [01:20:58] And again, a question about we’re in this time of experimentation and- and COVID, it’s given us permission to accelerate things. And suddenly we have to figure out what to do with homeless folks. We have to figure out how we can get bikes on the roads. We have to figure out how to get it. Well how, what’s your comment? And I’d be interested, Cynthia and Zahra weighing in on this, too. What about the tension that’s causing? We’re starting to get neighborhoods that are objecting. We’re getting people that are irritable. How do we foster a kind of collective acceptance of the experimentation? Maybe. Maybe either Cynthia or Zahra, either of you want to jump in before Dan does. Please do. Thoughts?


Dan Hill [01:21:35] You can go.


Cynthia Dorrington [01:21:38] I think what you have to do is, you just can’t make a decision without understanding. First of all, the people that it’s going to impact the most, which are the homeless people. Find out what some of their needs are. And it might be, some things might be pretty simple and we’re really complicating it because we have not addressed it with them or found out what their needs are. And I find sometimes we impose what we think is right on- on folks or even for that matter, on city streets. When you were talking, Dan, and this is a really great one in regards to the streets themselves. Right now, we from a COVID perspective, we’re using them as an extension of restaurants here in Halifax. So some of our streets, we have either shut down and became a walking street and/or we have reduced the parking on the street to accommodate allowing more of a sidewalk and allowing the restaurants to bring their tables out. And that’s social distanced and it is allowing the restaurants to come back up. They’re not going to see the revenue that they would have seen it without COVID. But needless to say, they are still in existence. How do we continue to do that as we move into the winter? There are some cities that do use their sidewalks. Like when we look in Paris, in the cafes, they- they don’t closed down for the winter. They use the outside area in a way that’s meaningful. How do we, in Canada do the same thing? We can do that. But when we’re talking about how we look at our winter coming up, the impact it’s gonna have on the homeless people, the parking on the streets, even here over this spring time frame, they put in areas downtown now that actually have a permanent bike lane. So we have taken out one whole side of the street from a parking perspective. So reduced parking by 50 percent. And some of the streets put in a permanent park lane, which actually is almost like a level of a sidewalk that from a cleaning perspective is going to be crazy to clean because vehicles can’t clean, because they’re not going to clean on a sidewalk and they can’t clean. So we’re, I’m thinking I don’t know whose idea was, it definitely wasn’t mine, but I don’t know whose idea it was to do something like this without thinking about the impact it’s going to have from a cleaning perspective in the wintertime. So I think we actually have to engage the community and sometimes no idea is a stupid idea. I always find ideas are from people’s lived experiences or from their experiences, from travels. Sometimes people traveling will come up with different experiences or different ideas to promote to a city that guess what, this is not something that they’re used to, but it will work and can be adapted. And I think we have to look at adaptation as we look at these ideas and talk about what the winter is going to look like in the impact that COVID’s had. But ultimately, a street, really, when I look at a street in my walk down streets or drive down streets, it really defines the people that live on that street. And those create neighborhoods. And that creates a community.


Mary Rowe [01:25:04] Zahra, do you want to jump in?


Zahra Ebrahim [01:25:05] Yeah. Just quickly, not much more to add, except for the fact that right now our streets are doing, you know, Cynthia, I really appreciate the sort of what-do-people-need rooting in the human centredness. And the streets are doing the job for us right now here in Toronto. We’ve got restaurants. We’ve got, you know, additional public space. We’ve got additional sidewalk space. But it’s also doing the job of showing us that someone is paying attention. When a restaurant with a patio shows up in my neighborhood, I feel like someone’s paying attention. And I’m proximate right now to a study that’s talking about in neighborhoods where there’s high percentages of folks who are living, or experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, high concentrations of newcomers, their- their civic and political engagement is directly connected to how they perceive their neighborhood is cared for. So I think it’s a really interesting thing of the multiple jobs that the streets are doing for us right now. And one of it is, if you put something on my street that’s useful to me, I feel more engaged. I feel like someone is paying attention to the place I live. And so all that to say, how do we get the folks who are in my backyard not wanting, not wanting change, you know, the whole side of COVID, there’s a few glimmers of hope within this wild time we’re living in. But it’s that that sort of Lilla Watson quote around our liberation being bound, “If you come here to help me, then you’re wasting your time. But if you’ve come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together.” I think we’re getting away from charity and we’re more into solidarity, hopefully. We’re not there. I’m not that hopeful, but- but I think we’ve moved from the charity model to the solidarity model because we do see that we need folks who run restaurants and, you know, serve at restaurants for our mental health. And that’s not their first choice is to be out there. And so, yeah, I think it’s a really interesting moment around our collective liberation. And starting to reestablish with the common good is because I think we’re starting to really pay attention to what it means to be a front line worker, a minimum wage worker and all of that, that some people are being slightly more charitable in ways that they wouldn’t have been typically been before.


Mary Rowe [01:27:17] So last bit, over to you, Dan. Sadly, we’re going to have to bring the session to an end, but if you want to make a few closing comments, that would be great.


Dan Hill [01:27:23] You know, maybe, there’s some great things in the chat. Again, as usual, it’s kind of hard when they’re using, like, one percent of my brain on the chat and 99 percent listening to Zahra and Cynthia but just putting, you know, different techniques for the street. I remember someone took like colonnades, which in Turin in Italy is a very rainy city actually. They have like 26 kilometers of colonnades built into the buildings. It’s been there since that 15th, four- 16th century, completely works, works and somehow works in winter. You don’t really have to try hard around these things. It’s just understanding that the street, again, this was something other than traffic. And then we can sort, you remember the old film from Sydney- kind of had colonnades running down it. And they took those out in the way when cars came in because cars crashed into them. Horses don’t crash into them, but cars did. So there’s loads of lovely comments going on there. That’s interesting. I think the- this question about homeless, which is where you started, Mary, I think, again, building on what Cynthia says. And it’s just this is why with the projects I’m doing now are all about trying to build this ongoing participative, adaptive, you know, completely engaged mode. So to get away from planning as this kind of fire and forget process, urban design is something you do a drawing for and it just gets built. We never really see that. But to actually get people out on the ground, in the streets and municipal workers, all kinds of people, community groups, private sector companies. In those photos I showed at the workshops, one may have big companies like Volvo and Ericsson, as well as small startups, as well as NGOs and others, all in the same room at the same time. And we get them out on the streets and we walk around, then to build in a culture of doing that repeatedly, to make sure that municipal workers should be spending more time in the street than their office. I mean, that’s really, really what we’re trying to get to- that begins to solve that problem. I think we, at least to begin to approach that problem, put it that way, in a more- in the way that Zahra described in terms of  solidarity. This is our shared opportunity or problem. It’s not like your problem or mine. So, you know finally, I’d just say about this kind of question that homelessness is interesting because, I mean, again, it’s sort of one of those where I want to go to the root cause and say that’s just pointless having homeless people anyway. The society’s already not working if you have that problem and you can’t really solve that from the street end of stuff, if you know what I mean. Like Finland figured out a long time ago. It’s just easier to get homeless people a house. And it’s actually cheaper to do that. The societal cost is cheaper. It’s just like giving someone a house because it prevents them at some point later on if they don’t get a house, as you know, they end up a problem with one end of the system. Someone has to pick up. So the overall total cost is less to solve homelessness by giving people a home. Anyway, leaving that aside, yes, I know it’s kind of a very European thing to say, so apologies. But I think that is kind of where we get to the end, I think is just what I really love about the comments from Cynthia and Zahra is they’re just conjuring this kind of spirit of the way you approach something like the street, which is what I was trying to get across. It’s like it’s a shared space. It’s full of opportunities for us. We’re putting chickens out there and growing raspberries or it’s for street parties and cafes or whatever. And that’s up to the street to decide. And it’s the residents and the users of the street. They can figure out that level. Our job is to just give them the kit, give them the space, give them the support, give them the ongoing engagement and the care and repair required to do that, but have every confidence in people’s capability to handle something on the street.


Mary Rowe [01:31:11] Well folks on that very def- directive note, go out and be your own street. Go make the City, folks. This is what CityTalk’s all about and we’re very appreciative to have this lecture and to have a start of the fall season with Dan Hill, joined by Cynthia and Zahra. So thanks very much, Dan. We’re we’re we’re not going to lose your number.


Dan Hill [01:31:31] Happy to stay in touch. And we can you know, we can work as cold weather countries; we need to stick together and figure out this stuff somehow together.


Mary Rowe [01:31:38] Well, and you know, every day is a new day under COVID. And that’s the thing. I mean, it’s a- I lived in New Orleans for years and people would lament the weather. They’d say, if you don’t like the weather, we’d say, just wait fifteen minutes. Well, I feel like that usually with COVID, is that basically everything changes all the time, as we know. And that’s what Canadian Urban Institute is about is trying to track this and empower people and inform people in terms of how they can themselves get engaged in building the cities that we need and long as we as we continue to evolve. So this is a big day, as I said, for CUI, 30 years of this kind of engagement and looking to the next year. And both Zahra and Cynthia are on our board and they are going to spend a couple of hours with me later this afternoon for our annual general meeting. So I look forward to seeing you two ladies later. Dan, I hope you get some supper after this. And we’re going to look forward to posting your remarks and the chat and we will take whatever Coles notes you send us around- footnotes, we’ll post those, too. Just remember, folks, the conversation continues. This is just the beginning. So hashtag CityTalk, take the transcript and certainly with your friends and colleagues, let’s watch all these things again. For CityTalk this fall, I know that you got kind of used to seeing us two or three times a week in the spring. And we’re going to do a little experimenting because we’re open to experimentation and we’re going to do some deeper dives as we did today. So we were 90 minutes live today. In- on September 21st, we are cohosting with a group out of Halifax: the art of city building, where Cynthia resides and their theme is on “under water”. That’ll be a full day. Watch your e-mail, you’ll get an invitation to that and there’ll be a special CityTalk there with mayors across North America who are on- who are literally underwater, Coastal Mayors talking about the challenges their cities are facing. And I’m also going to have a little fireside chat with Eric Klinenberg about the important role of libraries, as he calls them, palaces for the people. So that’s in September. Then COVID200 comes back next week, September 28, a whole week on what are the implications as we hit the 200 day mark. And then early in October, we’re going to start to release all our work on Bring Back Main Street, bring back your street, bring back bring forward the street, whatever the streets are gonna look like. And let’s hope we don’t have to know quite yet, but we might. So, Dan, thanks again, Zahra, Cynthia. Thanks, everyone. Great to see you.


Dan Hill [01:33:45] Thank you. Thank you, thanks, buh-bye.


Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

Note to reader: Chat comments have been edited for ease of readability. The text has not been edited for spelling or grammar. For questions or concerns, please contact with “Chat Comments” in the subject lin

From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

12:01:43 From Suzan Krepostman to All panelists: Sorry, wondering if this session is being recorded?

12:01:51 From Abby S to All panelists: Hi Mary! Welcome back!

12:01:55 From Canadian Urban Institute: Welcome! Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

12:02:15 From Khatereh Baharikhoob: Hello from Toronto!

12:02:18 From Irena Kohn: Happy Anniversary, CUI!

12:02:35 From Canadian Urban Institute:
Dan Hill @cityofsound
Zahra Ebrahim

Cynthia Dorrington

12:02:58 From Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas: Happy Anniversary Canadian Urban Institute

12:03:00 From Francis Gentoral: Happy Anniversary CUI

12:03:13 From Rhea McAdam: Hi from Sault Ste. Marie, ON

12:03:14 From Barb McDougall: Hello from Sudbury, ON

12:03:15 From Darryl Gaston to All panelists: Greetings from Charlotte North Carolina

12:03:18 From Daniel Burke: Hi from downtown Toronto!

12:03:18 From Lanrick Bennett to All panelists: Happy 30th Birthday Canadian Urban Institute! Looking forward to this afternoons chat:) Hello from TO, East End

12:03:20 From Mitchell Witteveen to All panelists: Hello from Windsor, ON!

12:03:22 From Emily Herd to All panelists: Hello from Edmonton

12:03:22 From Cibele Donato to All panelists: Hello from Guelph

12:03:23 From Kirsten Frankish to All panelists: Happy anniversary CUI! Hello everyone from the City of Oshawa!

12:03:23 From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

12:03:23 From Lisa Shkut: Hi from Whitby!!

12:03:24 From Maisha Barnett to All panelists: Greetings from Seattle. WA

12:03:26 From Nathan Rogers: Hello from Halifax

12:03:26 From KIERON HUNT: Greetings from Halifax

12:03:27 From Chris Phillips: Hello from Hamilton, ON

12:03:27 From Steve Mennill: Steve from Ottawa

12:03:27 From Ted Hildebrandt to All panelists: Hello from Burlington, ON

12:03:28 From George Tchanturia to All panelists: Happy Anniversary!!!

12:03:28 From Brooke Zacharuk: Hello from Ottawa, ON

12:03:29 From Bhavana Bonde to All panelists: From Winnipeg

12:03:30 From Julie Salter-Keane: Hi from Kingston

12:03:31 From Melissa Higgs to All panelists: Hello from Vancouver!

12:03:31 From Chantal Laliberté to All panelists: Hello from the Montréal region!

12:03:31 From Anna Melendez to All panelists: Hi from New York City

12:03:31 From Trisha Turner to All panelists: Hello from Timmins, ON

12:03:31 From Melissa Larion: Paris, Ontario

12:03:32 From Lauren Jessop to All panelists: Hi from Barrie, Ontario!

12:03:32 From Kerolyn Shairsingh to All panelists: Hi from Toronto, ON

12:03:32 From Jennifer Khuu to All panelists: Hello from Mississauga, ON!

12:03:32 From Charles Chiu to All panelists: Hi from Toronto1!

12:03:32 From Nadine Tischhauser: Hello from Riga, Latvia!

12:03:33 From Catherine Osborne to All panelists: Hello from Toronto

12:03:33 From Richard Clarke: Hello from the Comox Valley

12:03:34 From Laurel Davies Snyder to All panelists: Hello from Stratford, ON!

12:03:34 From Vivian Cheng: Hello, from California!

12:03:35 From Abby S: hahaha…was absolutely thinking the same thing!

12:03:35 From Dhanya Rajagopal to All panelists: Vanakkam from Chennai, India
12:03:35 From Elizabeth Lawrence to All panelists: St. John’s, NL

12:03:36 From Paul Seale to All panelists: Hello from London, ON.

12:03:36 From Arlene Gillman to All panelists: Hi from downtown Vancouver!

12:03:37 From Isabelle Janton to All panelists: Hello from Pickering

12:03:37 From Meghan Thompson to All panelists: Hello from London, ON!

12:03:37 From Jason McDougall to All panelists: Hello from Vancouver!

12:03:37 From Anneke Smit: Happy anniversary to CUI from the Windsor Law Centre for Cities in Windsor, Ontario!

12:03:38 From Sally Han to All panelists: Hi from Toronto

12:03:39 From Benjamin de la Peña to All panelists: hello from Seattle

12:03:39 From Brad Krizan: Hello from Calgary

12:03:39 From Paul Arkilander: Toronto

12:03:39 From Francesca Joyce to All panelists: Hello from Toronto!

12:03:40 From Birgit Siber to All panelists: Greetings from Toronto

12:03:41 From Elmira Sanati Nia to All panelists: Smithers, BC

12:03:41 From Elena Christy: Hello from Kitchener!

12:03:41 From Allison Bennett: Hello from Toronto!

12:03:42 From Lusungu Kayani to All panelists: hi from Bowen Island!

12:03:43 From James Ballinger: Hi from Halifax NS

12:03:43 From Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas: Kathleen from Toronto (TTC)

12:03:43 From Anna Kim to All panelists: Hello from Toronto

12:03:44 From Mary Kenny: Hello everyone from Halifax Nova Scotia.

12:03:44 From Kathryn Mills to All panelists: Hi from Toronto ON

12:03:45 From camilla perrone to All panelists: Hello from Florence (Italy)

12:03:45 From Austin Weleschuk: Calgary, Alberta

12:03:46 From Nada Peters: Good Morning from Prince George BC

12:03:49 From Deb Brown to All panelists: Hi from Collingwood

12:03:49 From Silvano Mason to All panelists: hello from Georgetown

12:03:50 From Madison Edwards: Madison from Toronto!

12:03:53 From Brooke Lambert to All panelists: Hi – Brooke from downtown Kitchener: )

12:03:53 From Linda McDougall: Hello from London ON

12:03:54 From Marlaine Koehler: Hi from the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail! Happy Anniversary

12:03:55 From Ange Valentini to All panelists: Hello from Gabriola Island – Canadian Southern Gulf Coast!

12:03:56 From Zac Spicer: Happy anniversary from IPAC!

12:03:59 From Daniella Balasal: Greetings from Brampton

12:04:00 From Monica Belliveau to All panelists: Hello from Ottawa, ON!

12:04:00 From Fernando Cirino to All panelists: Hello from Windsor

12:04:02 From Cameron Watts to All panelists: Please, not the song–in Toronto and playing different background music

12:04:04 From John Beebe to All panelists: From Ryerson’s Democratic Engagement Exchange in Toronto. Cheeers

12:04:07 From Eleanor Setton: Hello from the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium!

12:04:07 From Kathy Suggitt: Hello from Barrie, ON

12:04:07 From Quinn Held to All panelists: Hello from Halifax!

12:04:08 From Peter Paravalos to All panelists: Hi all! WSP Oakville, ON

12:04:12 From Pierre Gagnon to All panelists: Pierre Gagnon from CMHC Ottawa area

12:04:13 From Patricia Cross: Hello from Toronto

12:04:22 From David A Wolfe to All panelists: Hi all, I’m watching from north of Montreal.

12:04:22 From Aimée Gonzalez Ferriol to All panelists: Hello from Ottawa!

12:04:23 From Madhuparna Debnath: Hello from Brampton, ON

12:04:24 From Darell Gaddie: Hi from New Westminster, BC

12:04:28 From Vincent Yong to All panelists: Hello from Vincent Yong from University of Calgary SAPL

12:04:28 From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #right2housing #citytalk @canurb

12:04:28 From Terry Drisdelle: Hello to everyone from Halifax

12:04:28 From Paul Young to All panelists: Fellow popster Paul Young here – hi from Toronto: )

12:04:28 From Gregg Lintern to All panelists: happy birthday CUI from the big smoke (Toronto)

12:04:30 From Andrzej Hoffmann to All panelists: Hi from Brampton!

12:04:30 From Alyssa Valente to All panelists: hello from West Queen West, Toronto!

12:04:32 From Linda McDougall: The honesty’s too much!

12:04:34 From kevin to All panelists: Hello from Barrie!

12:04:35 From Bob Martindale to All panelists: Hi from Ajax!

12:04:36 From susan snell: hello from Vancouver

12:04:37 From Julie DuPont to All panelists: Hi all from Chelsea, QC!

12:04:39 From Irena Kohn: lol

12:04:39 From Ryan Nemis to All panelists: Greetings from the other London

12:04:40 From Marnie Tamaki to All panelists: Marnie Tamaki, AIBC, Vancouver City Planning Commission, the Huairou Commission, WSP Canada (3 hats today)

12:04:43 From shelley tsolakis: Hello from Mississauga

12:04:43 From Lindsay Vanstone: Hi from Edmonton

12:04:45 From Program Manager: Greetings from Vancouver.

12:04:46 From Lori Girvan to All panelists: Bon anniversaire CUI and bonjour de Gatineau, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe peoples.

12:04:47 From Marina Grassi to All panelists: Hi from Guelph, ON

12:04:47 From Monica Belliveau: Hello from Ottawa, ON!

12:04:49 From George Tchanturia to All panelists: Happy Anniversary, from Tbilisi, Georgia (not USA, country between Turkey and Russia)

12:04:51 From Lorna Stewart to All panelists: Warm greetings from hazy Victoria, BC

12:04:55 From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

12:04:59 From Laurel Davies Snyder: Hello from Stratford, ON.

12:05:04 From Colin Best to All panelists: Hello from Milton ON

12:05:10 From Reg Nalezyty: Hi from Thunder Bay

12:05:12 From Lori Girvan: Bon anniversaire CUI and bonjour de Gatineau, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe peoples

12:05:18 From Celeste Kitsemetry: Hi (Again) from Barrie!

12:05:19 From Marcy Burchfield to All panelists: Happy 30 years young CUI and many more to come! Greetings from the Danforth in Toronto!

12:05:23 From Lorna Stewart: Warm greetings from hazy Victoria, BC

12:05:26 From Dhanya Rajagopal: Vanakkam from Chennai, India!

12:05:27 From Larissa Stendie to All panelists: Hello from Victoria area, unceded WSANEC Territory

12:05:28 From Tim Douglas: Hello from Vancoufer

12:05:28 From Duane Elverum: Good Morning to all from Duane at CityStudio Vancouver

12:05:29 From Andréa Callà: Happy 30th Anniversary CUI! Looking forward to many more!

12:05:30 From Tim Douglas: **Vancouver

12:05:46 From Ralph Cipoolla to All panelists: hello from sunshine city Orillia Ontario

12:05:51 From Debadutta Parida: Greetings from Rourkela, India

12:05:56 From Mark Roseland: Greetings from Vancouver

12:05:56 From Faryal Diwan: Greetings from Kitchener, Ontario!

12:06:07 From Matt Craig: Good morning from sunny Vancouver, BC

12:06:09 From C L to All panelists: Vancouver

12:06:27 From John Farley: Hello from Guelph…

12:06:39 From ADAM GOODWIN to All panelists: Hello frmo Penticton, BC!

12:06:50 From Deema Aburizik to All panelists: Hello from Dubai

12:07:01 From Jeff Evenson: Happy Anniversary CUI.

12:08:24 From Glenn Miller to All panelists: Looking forward to the next 30 years! Glenn Miller

12:08:49 From Paul Seale: Hello from London ON.

12:08:54 From Marion Goertz: Hello from Calgary, Canada!

12:09:02 From Catherine Wood to All panelists: Hello from Toronto!
12:09:24 From CATHERINE Nasmith to All panelists: Hi Everyone, Catherine Nasmith from Muskoka office in lovely Windermere

12:09:42 From Sasha Tsenkova to All panelists: Hello from Calgary.

12:10:38 From Abby S: Thank you Mary…fantastic resources CUI is building.

12:10:55 From Canadian Urban Institute:

12:12:05 From Abby S: 👏

12:12:18 From Ralph Cipoolla to All panelists: Mary you are the best thanks from ralph cipolla from orilla and stay safe

12:12:38 From Mary W Rowe: Yes recording:).

12:13:10 From Mary W Rowe: folks: please switch your chat settings to All panelists and attendees

12:13:22 From Michelle Ma: Question When talking about intersectionality how can the neurodiverse communities who are not limited to individuals with mental health challenges, trauma, on the autism spectrum, Down syndrome, hard of hearing, low vision, dyslexia and many more and or with physical disabilities when talking about inclusion is it accountable and intersectional who are usually neglected in this conversations may intersect with black people and or LGBTQIA 2 spirited? What are specific ways to respect acknowledge this urban commmunties into society in multisectors specific? what are tangible tips?

12:13:44 From Purshottama Reddy: Hello, from Toronto, Canada. These city talks are very insightful and certainly gives us food for thought as researchers, ratepayers and residents. We can also participate from the comfort of ourhome.

12:14:37 From Michelle Ma: Me too I am in tokronto kanada as well

12:15:59 From Michelle Ma: what is the film called?

12:16:06 From Michelle Ma: The black and white one

12:16:44 From Ronni Rosenberg to All panelists: hello from Ronni Rosenberg

12:16:45 From Canadian Urban Institute to Dan Hill(Privately): yep, playing great.

12:17:53 From Ronni Rosenberg to All panelists: Ronni rosenberg in Toronto

12:18:49 From Canadian Urban Institute to Ronni Rosenberg and all panelists: Hi, Ronni! Please change your settings to all panelists and attendees if you want everyone to see your comments and email.

12:23:21 From Happie-Clara Testa to All panelists: Hello from Toronto, Canada. I see that the session is being recorded, will it be possible to access the recording later and also have a copy of the presentation slides? Thank you

12:23:44 From Mary W Rowe to Happie-Clara Testa and all panelists: yup

12:24:39 From Dhanya Rajagopal: Love the character play for this campaign
12:24:50 From Happie-Clara Testa to All panelists: Thank you, Mary. Great presentation, thanks for organizing. – Happie

12:25:48 From Abby S: The “common” name has a mixed effect…logo is fantastic though!

12:26:16 From Charles Finley: love the social mission on top of the social mission with Oslo Bicycle

12:27:11 From Susan Chin: The OO in the graphic is such a wonderful element & feels open for the social impact design.

12:27:17 From ASTRA BURKA: From Astra Burka Toronto. Am loving this talk with Dan Hill

12:28:16 From Program Manager to All panelists: It’s hard to hear Dan speaking when the videos show.

12:28:35 From Mary W Rowe to Program Manager and all panelists: yup not sure there’s much to do about it tho

12:28:48 From Abby S: I love this idea (and the walk/drive time)

12:28:49 From Program Manager to All panelists: Muting his videos?

12:28:55 From Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas: Good to see focus on mobility – TTC can learn a lot.

12:29:19 From Mary W Rowe to Program Manager and all panelists: maybe -although he sometimes wants us to hear them…

12:29:32 From Mary W Rowe to Program Manager and all panelists: i’ll intervene if he continues

12:29:57 From Mary W Rowe to Program Manager and all panelists: we can’t mute his videos from here

12:30:26 From Canadian Urban Institute to Mary W Rowe(Privately): He knows, he wants it like that.

12:30:35 From Sasha Tsenkova: These ideas are put in practice for some time, but have been fundamentally challenged by the new COVID realities. Sharing vs isolation?

12:31:28 From Susan Chin: We hope isolation post COVID doesn’t win the day!

12:31:32 From Sheila Perry: Great initiative with the WiFi Sensors!

12:33:03 From Cheryl-lee Madden to All panelists: how does cement decrease heat?

12:33:45 From Paul Arkilander: Similar sentiments with drivers in Sudbury!

12:34:16 From Abby S: If only Smart Cities (Sidewalk) had taken this approach…incremental…with buy-in. Sigh.

12:34:35 From Ronni Rosenberg: Has “urban design” as pre-occupation with forms and spaces been superseded by “smart planning?”

12:35:23 From Ronni Rosenberg: urban acupuncture

12:35:28 From Fredrica Walters to All panelists: City planners must get onboard.

12:36:28 From Happie-Clara Testa to All panelists: the background sound is drowign out th epresenter’s voice

12:36:38 From Happie-Clara Testa to All panelists: great! thanks

12:37:08 From Abby S: @Ronni (hi) isn’t it necessary to do piece by piece/neighborhood by neighborhood (hence accupuncture) given to how cities have emerged?

12:37:29 From Eiman Elwidaa to All panelists: Its high time to think of the city fabric as experiential lived stories other than physical attributes.

12:38:08 From CATHERINE Nasmith: we’re in such a topsy turvy time, its a great time to experiment as Toronto is doing cycling infrastructure….but I am missing in person dialogue:-(…what is the meaning of social space or even place now?

12:39:30 From Abby S: We need some of these renderings to reflect winter.

12:40:07 From Paul Arkilander: One problem with too much experimentation right now is the political tension it causes and even legal action like what is happening in Berlin in response to its COVID bike lanes.

12:40:24 From Eiman Elwidaa to All panelists: We need to think of the (silent and invisible) agents of city makers (people who use, shape and thus MAKE the city), their intersectional views, perspectives and experiences (gender, class, ethnicity and age)

12:41:03 From Vivian Cheng: Do you think city planning needs to take on a more nationalized response? For a myriad of reasons, provinces take on the majority of responsibility for city planning, but Canada has international human rights obligations that it is accountable for, many of them related to the quality of life, and many of them could be realized through better city planning.

12:41:05 From Program Manager to All panelists: Thanks. That was great that he stopped until the video finished.

12:41:58 From Lanrick Bennett to All panelists: My nine year old at home moves through Mindcraft with ease and would have been all over the redesign of his local park (and I’m much of the local children would have been on this as well.) Such an easy way to engage with the public..with the little people that “the park” was made for. Tools and Talent already here…and waiting:)

12:43:23 From Mary W Rowe to Program Manager and all panelists: phew!

12:45:25 From Abby S: Best delivery system ever!

12:45:27 From Pat Petrala: Equity Cooperatives are a viable option – shares in land/freehold unit – property manager, with owner oversight board The formal cooperatives engagement with every owner expectations not always great fit. Mixed income and generations more healthy environment.

12:45:59 From Vivian Cheng: In your list previously, where are the lawyers haha

12:46:47 From Claudia McKoy: Thank you from Brampton!!

12:47:00 From Ken Kunka to All panelists: then why have any health and safety standards?

12:48:14 From Alexandru Taranu to All panelists: love the sketch, did something like this in my West Toronto ‘hood to illustrate life in pandemic times and lockdown

12:48:23 From Abby S: Wrangling the bureaucracy in Toronto would help the restaurant industry as winter approaches…looking for nimble approaches during Covid.

12:48:28 From Sasha Tsenkova: Interestingly enough a lot of the buildings built in our historic neighbourhoods are illegal today and would not be allowed by current zoning. We can learn a lot from the past to design a better future of a shared city.
12:48:50 From Mary W Rowe to Alexandru Taranu and all panelists: how big is your sketch?

12:49:12 From Abby S: We learned with the food truck debacle how silly and unwieldy the regulations were/are.

12:49:18 From Eiman Elwidaa to All panelists: We need to reflect on the use o the word (illegal)

12:49:44 From Jean-François Obregon: Hello from Vaughan, I agree, Abby S. There should be an appetite for outdoor space, especially in winter, to allow people to eat outside and have restaurants get some income.

12:50:43 From Alexandru Taranu to All panelists: less than letter size Mary but shows how this older, streetcar suburb is a pretty complete and resilient community and not a bad model…

12:51:26 From Mary W Rowe to Alexandru Taranu and all panelists: send me a pic?

12:51:40 From Alexandru Taranu to All panelists: sure

12:52:02 From Mary W Rowe to Alexandru Taranu and all panelists: thx

12:52:18 From Mick Malowany to All panelists: Every street healthy by default — from Sherbourne to Sheppard. That’s a vision for a truly sustainable, livable Toronto.

12:52:27 From Mary Kenny: So idea-inspiring!

12:52:32 From Abby S: “given the streets to traffic department to run” hear hear!

12:53:44 From Pamela Fuselli: The previous slide is so valuable to show the impact space design. Would be very interested in having links to the evidence of each of the statements, e.g decrease in domestic violence.

12:53:56 From Rhea McAdam: Our vibrant, busy little town has the TransCanada Highway running through the middle with parking on both sides…dangerous at times. Any ideas?

12:53:57 From Abby S: @Pamela yes

12:54:41 From Mark Roseland: Will this fascinating talk be archived and available?

12:54:57 From Pat Petrala: Logical collaboration – kits for activists, with some financial context useful. The end user and value added aspects potential plus some security aspects has potential.

12:55:29 From Canadian Urban Institute: this recording and transcript and chat will all be available next week on

12:55:36 From Arlene Gillman: If archived and available will we be able to share with non-participants?

12:55:39 From Stephanue Beausoleil to All panelists: thank you!

12:56:05 From Pat Petrala: Naming rights for mini-plaza, besides benches and art donors could be leveraged. Legacy projects by affluent patrons possible.

12:56:13 From Shauna Sylvester: Love the idea of kits. I’d love to see how this could be developed by people who live in an area like the downtown eastside of Vancouver – so that the people of that neighborhood could design and develop the kind of kits that fit in their community

12:56:14 From Cheryl-lee Madden to All panelists: what about Jane Jacobs “I am the eyes on the street” for casual connections?

12:56:26 From Cheryl-lee Madden to All panelists: it happens on side walks

12:56:29 From ASTRA BURKA: From Astra Burka This urban talk is so clear and extremely well presented. Wonderful

12:56:58 From Mary W Rowe to ASTRA BURKA and all panelists: nice to ‘see’ you here:)

12:57:48 From jason Chee-Hing: Dan thank you for your very informative presentation. I wish in Canada we are as involved in terms of the citizenry participation as is shown in your examples. My question is: are the European cities embracing the idea of a living building where gardens are incorporated into the building’s eco-system such that the carbon footprint is reduced significantly. I know there are examples of such hi-rise living buildings in Shanghai and Rome. In North America we have not yet built such a building nor have we embraced this type of urban thinking.

12:57:48 From Shayna Rector Bleeker to All panelists: Agree, Shauna. And interest and engagement in community and ‘my backyard’ feels so heightened in this year. And in many cases groups that had not met each other before have in this time of WFH, limit contacts, stay closer to home, take care of each other, etc

12:58:08 From Shayna Rector Bleeker to All panelists: What a time to collaborate on community design?!

12:58:39 From Gena Ali: Happy 30th Anniversary CUI. Tremendous thanks to Richard Gilbert for his vision and foresight.

12:59:03 From Kelty McKinnon to All panelists: We do have a lot of participatory planning in Canada, particularly in Vancouver where it has been part of the design process for a long time- however it needs to be much more robust- this presentation is super informative with lots of ideas in how to expand it

12:59:08 From Mary W Rowe to Gena Ali and all panelists: yes!

12:59:19 From Alexandru Taranu to All panelists: Happy anniversary indeed! Great work in all those 30 years!

13:00:08 From Fredrica Walters: We hope all municipalities and city planners will give serious consideration to this model. Some have started in their age-friendly communities model.

13:00:27 From Melissa Higgs to All panelists: Thank you for a fantastic and inspiring talk Dan.

13:01:57 From Alexandru Taranu to All panelists: great point about high growth, so far many were thinking about this growth as engine of change for better but perhaps a slower, more intensive growth in a more resilient, restoration economy would be better both for people and the planet

13:02:34 From Happie-Clara Testa to All panelists: Neighbourhood markets is certainly the model that has being solidifying in Toronto/GTA over the last decade with much success.

13:02:49 From Jim Faught: Dan – Lovely ideas for urban human design, mobility and how to get there. Missing is the energy component. Urban areas are huge energy importers and should think how to shift to become net-zero or a net-exporters of energy and therefore design a more truly sustainable approach to conserving, generating and storing energy for urban use at all levels.

13:03:17 From Sasha Tsenkova: This was part of the informal Tokyo, which was 70% of the city in 1950s.

13:04:43 From Mark Roseland: Dan, have you ever tried to advance these ideas in a typical North American sprawling city context (more like Phoenix than Toronto)?

13:04:51 From Daniel Burke: Fantastic presentation Dan

13:04:58 From Pamela Fuselli: Absolutely inspiring! Thank you.

13:04:58 From Jean-François Obregon: Love the imagination. Thank you.

13:05:00 From Brian Webb: This has been a fantastic presentation — thank you so much

13:05:04 From Imtiyaz Rahaman: There is hope!

13:05:10 From Khatereh Baharikhoob: Loved your insights Dan!

13:05:12 From Marcy Burchfield to All panelists: Thank you Dan!

13:05:12 From andy Huang to All panelists: thank you Dan for such inspiring presentation

13:05:13 From Cameron Watts: So hopeful

13:05:14 From Alyssa Valente: amazing presentation! love all the visualization! thank you very much

13:05:21 From Canadian Urban Institute: and yes you can share with others!

13:05:24 From Eiman Elwidaa to All panelists: Thank you very much for confirming the slides

13:05:25 From Charles Finley: Love the Tokyo example..I saw some of these kinds of streets when I was there last – fantastic example
13:05:29 From Stephanue Beausoleil to All panelists: that would be FANTASTIC:)!!! Thank you

13:05:30 From Jennifer Khuu: This is my first CityTalk, absolutely fascinating!! Thank you for sharing.

13:05:33 From Cibele Donato:

13:05:36 From Olivia to All panelists: Thank you so much Dan! Very insightful

13:05:39 From Irena Nikolova to All panelists: This was an inspiring, comprehensive and insightful presentation on the possibilities for urban redesign during and after COVID.

13:05:48 From Sheila Perry: Fabulous presentation and ideas for us.

13:05:54 From Kirsten Frankish to All panelists: Thank you for this inspiring presentation, Dan! I feel like I need to watch this presentation again to absorb even more.

13:06:06 From Lori Girvan: Energizing and inspiring – thank you!

13:06:13 From Catherine Wood: very inspiring- thank you Dan!

13:06:20 From Birgit Siber to All panelists: Very inspiring timely presentation that resonates. Thank you!

13:06:25 From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

13:06:29 From Sharleen Bayovo to All panelists: Fantastic inspiring thoughts. Thank you

13:06:37 From Carol-Ann Chafe to All panelists: Very interesting and informative. But I do see a miss of a population sector: people with disabilities. We need Universal Design in outdoor spaces and streetscape. People with disabilities incl people born with disabilities or acquired from example sports injuries, accidents, We need to be thinking inclusive design including people in all life stages and abilities.

13:06:55 From Terry Drisdelle: I’m inspired! Gotta go and build……….. something!

13:07:10 From Irena Nikolova to All panelists: I would like to see Toronto move in the direction of redesign for all citizens, for the common good, instead of continuing to be a city of divisions, economic, social and cultural.

13:07:32 From Susan Chin: So optimistic and inspiring, how do we get people to move away from returning to normal?

13:07:45 From Sue Hallatt: dan! “sometimes when you {talk }… the honesty’s too much….”

13:08:13 From Irena Nikolova to All panelists: We do not want to move back to overcrowded streets with too much car traffic….. let us redesign the way we move around the city of Toronto.

13:08:29 From Ronni Rosenberg: scaling the notion of interventions, role of empty office space in the “slow city…?”

13:09:10 From Sarah Patterson: Suggesting to use “residents” instead of “citizens” as not everyone who lives in an area is a citizen

13:09:38 From Sarah Thorne to All panelists: thank you! so stimulating and thought-provoking!

13:09:38 From Sasha Tsenkova: Very inspiring presentation. How do we co-design a city, so that it is more resilient? Is it about social urbanism and learning from our history to identify what works? Sasha Tsenkova

13:09:49 From Stephen Tyler: There are some underlying values here about collective and social vs individual benefits that need to be unpacked because they are not always widely shared.

13:10:07 From Lanrick Bennett to All panelists: Yes, and… is POWERFUL!

13:10:59 From Carol-Ann Chafe: Very interesting and informative. But I do see a miss of a population sector: people with disabilities. We need Universal Design in outdoor spaces and streetscape. People with disabilities incl people born with disabilities or acquired from example sports injuries, accidents, We need to be thinking inclusive design including people in all life stages and abilities.

13:11:32 From Shauna Sylvester: I love that CUI has emerged through Covid to advance our thinking, visions, collaborations in Canada. Congratulations Mary and CUI team. Please keep it up!

13:11:47 From Mary W Rowe to Shauna Sylvester and all panelists: xo

13:11:55 From KIERON HUNT: Way to go Grande Prairie !!!!

13:12:00 From Taskeen Nawab: Would it be possible to share the findings of that study Zahra? It sounds incredibly interesting.

13:12:16 From bob evans: Landscape Architects have led the way in this approach for decades

13:12:18 From Alyssa Valente: i agree, would love to see the results of that study

13:13:00 From Canadian Urban Institute:

13:13:08 From Kirsten Frankish: I agree! We’re working to do more of the analyzing data and using it to inform our initiatives, etc.

13:13:18 From Daniel Burke: Zahra that is so interesting! What is the book you showed?

13:13:37 From Shafaq Choudry: Thanks for sharing that piece Zahra

13:13:44 From Taskeen Nawab: ^’Equity

13:14:01 From Zahra Ebrahim: Equity Centred Community Design:,co%2Dcreating%20with%20the%20community.

13:14:01 From Mary W Rowe to Daniel Burke and all panelists:

13:14:23 From Daniel Burke: Thank you!
13:14:30 From Canadian Urban Institute: Equity Design Field Guide Antoinette Carroll

13:14:42 From Maisha Barnett to All panelists: Thank you, Zahra.

13:15:44 From Eiman Elwidaa to All panelists: Thank you very much Zahra and Cynthia. I agree with Zahra about the challenge of analysis and I would like to highlight the importance of having gender segregated data to start thinking of people diversity and intersectionality to (personalize) the city in (user centered approach to city planning and co-design)

13:17:24 From Lanrick Bennett to All panelists: As constituent in my part of the city, watching our elected officials, they are so easily pushed toward saying “NO”. “Yes, but” is basically no. Creating the space to say “Yes, and… “allows for collaboration, engagement, heck fun in building the city you want, the city you need. Starting from the street and working your way in each direction including up and down.

13:18:48 From Gordon Ross to All panelists: Vancouver 1907:

13:19:54 From Patricia Cross: Our sidewalks are 5 ft wide locally. I walk in the street and dare cars to mow me down.

13:19:56 From Jason McDougall to All panelists: Vancouver 1907 Trolley View

13:21:43 From Marnie Tamaki to All panelists: We are also used to working at home if the streets are snowed in. This is a change in perception of work from COVID.

13:22:22 From Taskeen Nawab: lol patricia

13:22:52 From Susan Chin: Many Scandinavians use heaters, blankets, and Northern Californians have heated chairs to deal with cooler weather but still sit outside in cafés.

13:23:24 From Arlene Gillman: Any thoughts on how rainy cities might harness the rain? Here in Vancouver we need to consider how to continue the measures we have taken during the summer and other measures that allow people to continue using the outdoors.

13:23:35 From Marnie Tamaki to All panelists: Homeless – storage problem

13:26:10 From Patricia Cross: Arlene – more colonades, like rainy Singapore

13:27:23 From Arlene Gillman: Thank you Patricia!

13:27:39 From Joyce Drohan: Vancouver’s numerous new street patios on closed street ends are opportunities for demonstrating rain-protected public spaces.

13:28:57 From Cheryl Cohen: In relation to what Zhara said about paying attention, I live in Greektown, Toronto and a few years ago, two traffic lights were put in near my house and I felt like they were put in for me! I look at it as two of the best changes made to my neighbourhood.

13:29:02 From Marnie Tamaki to All panelists: Vancouver Small move – limiting speed in many street to 30km – not just bike route streets.

13:29:28 From Dhanya Rajagopal: In India changing the mindsets of politicians and residents around critical use of public spaces seems to be really difficult how do we address behavioral change?

13:29:29 From Cheryl Cohen: Sorry for the name typo, Zahra.

13:29:44 From Cibele Donato: We need more information about our cities (CIM+BIM) available digitally! If we can measure it, it becomes easier to manage, plan and design.

13:29:48 From Charles Finley: also Zahra’s point illustrates the importance of independent small businesses, entrepreneurs etc not only to the vitality of a neighbourhood, but also to how residents feel the neighbhourhood is “theirs” and “of them”

13:30:01 From Judith Perry to All panelists: I think Cynthia is wrong. The bike lanes can be cleared and the sidewalks can be cleared. It is the question of equipment design. Halifax needs more dedicated and separated bike lanes.

13:30:04 From Arlene Gillman: Thank you Joyce!

13:30:24 From Dhanya Rajagopal to All panelists: In India changing the mindsets of politicians and residents around critical use of public spaces seems to be really difficult how do we address behavioral change?

13:30:48 From Happie-Clara Testa to All panelists: Thank you for a very interesting and insightful presentation. Excellent presenter and panelists, much inspiration and food for thought for citizen engagement. Cheers!

13:31:20 From Darryl Gaston to All panelists: Excellent presentation!

13:31:41 From Arlene Gillman: How do we save the text?

13:32:00 From Canadian Urban Institute: Text will be posted with the transcript and recording.

13:32:12 From Canadian Urban Institute: What did you think of today’s conversation? Help us improve our programming with a short post-webinar survey –

13:32:25 From Darryl Gaston to All panelists: Happy to participate from the USA

13:32:26 From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

13:32:27 From Jennifer Khuu: Thank you so much for a great session!

13:32:28 From Charles Finley: Great talk – thank you all!

13:32:34 From Lisa Slater to All panelists: this was amazing. thank you all so much.

13:32:34 From Ralph Cipoolla to All panelists: thank you and stay safe everyone

13:32:35 From Akram Al-Attar to All panelists: Thank you.

13:32:38 From Brian Webb: Thank you so much for this

13:32:39 From Ryan Walker: Outstanding – I really enjoyed this. Thank you.

13:32:44 From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb

13:32:49 From Patricia Cross: Thank you so much everyone

13:32:50 From ROBIN KING: Thank you, so inspiring!

13:32:53 From Kirsten Frankish: This was so inspiring! Thank you for such an insightful discussion.

13:32:55 From Arlene Gillman: Thank you all so much!

13:32:57 From Lanrick Bennett to All panelists: THE STREETS!!!! Thanks for a great presentation “the other Dan”. Thank you Mary + Zahra + Cynthia!

13:32:59 From Canadian Urban Institute:
Dan Hill
@cityofsound Zahra Ebrahim @zahraeb
Cynthia Dorrington

13:32:59 From Vivian Cheng: Thank you all so much!

13:33:01 From Shauna Sylvester: A big thanks!

13:33:02 From Lanrick Bennett to All panelists: Happy 30!

13:33:07 From Isabelle Janton to All panelists: thank you very much!

13:33:11 From elisabeth miller to All panelists: Well done…really enjoyed the session. Thank you very much

13:33:13 From Susan Chin: Inspirational! Look forward to sharing the recording with others

13:33:15 From Olusola Olufemi to All panelists: Thanks! Great Discussion

13:33:20 From Darryl Gaston to All panelists: 30 years! Congratulations!

13:33:23 From Chantal Laliberté to All panelists: Merci/thanks for a great talk!

13:33:23 From Marnie Tamaki to All panelists: Thank you so much.

13:33:27 From Kathy Suggitt: Congrats CUI on the 30th anniversary. Great session today! Thanks all.

13:33:27 From Brad Krizan: Thanks for the insightful presentation Dan!

13:33:28 From Neal LaMontagne: Thanks so much for this… powerful and inspiring!

13:33:28 From Anna Melendez to All panelists: Thank you!

13:33:28 From Carol-Ann Chafe: Congrats on 30 years CUI, keep up the great work

13:33:33 From Oriana Nanoa: Thank you!

13:33:34 From Fernando Cirino to All panelists: Thank-you everyone!!

13:33:45 From Fredrica Walters: Thank you all, most informative!

13:33:45 From Nadine Tischhauser: Brilliant talk! Thank you so much! I really enjoyed the discussions.

13:33:52 From Anna Dredge: Thank you, So inspiring!

13:34:06 From Sue Talusan to All panelists: Be your city – in UK, starting up in Canada

13:34:10 From George Tchanturia to All panelists: Dear Mary, thanks a lot for interesting talks.

13:34:15 From Eiman Elwidaa to All panelists: how are we going to have access to the presentation

13:34:23 From Rick Merrill: Thanks for this.

13:34:23 From Magdalena Zakrzewska-Duda: Thank you – gteetings from Gdansk, Poland – also on the Baltic:-)

13:34:32 From Janice Campbell: Happy “30th” CUI – thanks to the team for this session – CHEERS.

13:34:35 From Fernando Cirino: Thank-you everyone!! Happy 30 CUI

13:34:39 From Kukas Golka to All panelists: Super

13:34:41 From Faryal Diwan: thank you!