MobiliT.O. and balancing mobility solutions downtown

On November 19th, the Centre for City Ecology and the Ontario Association of Architects partnered to host MobiliT.O.: a design workshop on mobility solutions for multiple modes of transportation in the downtown core. This one-day event continued a discussion based on the knowledge gained from the transportation-related events from University of Toronto’s Cities Centre and George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries. Information from these other events was presented by students of Professor Virginia Maclaren’s Workshop in Planning Practice class at the University of Toronto.

This event involved 60 participants including representatives of all 6 modes of transportation: walking, biking, driving, transit, taxis, and deliveries.

We had some fantastic presentations in the morning by CCE’s Gillian Mason, OAA’s Sheena Sharp, Joe Berridge, five students from the University of Toronto’s Workshop in Planning Practice class, and Chris Hardwicke. After that, we had a day full of discussion groups and design exercises where we worked on mobility solutions that balanced the needs of people who are walking, biking, driving, taking transit, driving taxis, and making deliveries in downtown Toronto.

Next steps

Two additional important meetings took place in January 2012.

Firstly, the students associated with the project presented their work at an open meeting at City Hall. The Committee Room audience included Councilor Kristyn Wong Tam, several senior planning officials, private sector planners, and other City Officials including the Deputy City Manager John Livey and Joe Berridge, Urban Strategies, who was a guest advisor to the students during their Fall term.

The nature of the questions asked (e.g. were there ‘users,’ such as seniors, involved in the event to provide their perspective(s)? How did you deal with the limited width of the rights-of-way particularly on east-west streets?) were indications of the depth of interest in the research and offering of options that were outlined in the report among those attending  the audience found real value.  Thus, CCE is confident that, through this project, CCE with OAA and others did indeed contribute to raising the bar on the level debate about transportation options in the city.

Later in January, all of the partners in the Transportation Week were hosted in a meeting at City Hall by Councilor Mihevc, to debrief on progress during and since the November events, and to determine next steps, with CCE chairing the meeting. Each of the partner organizations updated the group on their progress against their own goals.


Presentations and reports