Streets – Pathways in Flux

The Toronto Public Library at the Bloor/Gladstone Branch hosted an event organized by
University of Toronto, School of Cities.

Where We Gather: Streets of Toronto featured a panel of speakers moderated by Matti Siemiatycki, Associate Professor and Interim Director, School of Cities, University of Toronto.

Marianne Hatzopoulou, Associate Professor Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Transportation and Air Quality, University of Toronto spoke about air quality in the GTA. She provided a snapshot of the results from her team’s work on modelling of road transport emissions and urban air quality.

Jon Johnson, Assistant Professor, Woodsworth College, University of Toronto, spoke about the history of Indigenous presence on the lands that shaped the city and the continuing relevance of Indigenous ways of occupying place. There was lively interest in the work of First Story Toronto.

Elyse Parker, Director, Policy and Innovation, Transportation Services, City of Toronto, spoke about the Complete Streets Guidelines and how the City aims to design streets to be safe for all users: people who walk, bicycle, take transit or drive, and people of varying ages and levels of ability.

The various presentations led me to reflect upon my years in the city since the mid 1980s. I thought about road reconstruction and how in the past a street would be closed off and the workers would rush to finish the project. Now road reconstruction is approached in a phased fashion. The street remains open albeit to limited traffic but pedestrians, cyclists and motorist still make use of the roadway through its revitalization. This of course takes more time and entails more planning. This phased approach strikes me as being a temporal instantiation of the complete street philosophy.

And so for day 2539

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