Naama Blonder has a bold vision: to change what good housing can and should look like in a growing city like Toronto; with that in mind, she co-founded Smart Density.
Her professional practice combines the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, and urban design to bring a deeper, more realistic understanding of how cities can address housing affordability and champion inclusive neighbourhoods with more equitable access to housing.
Her work has received numerous awards including the prestigious Ontario Association of Architects’ Best Emerging Practice Award for 2022. To fight stigma around housing, Blonder’s work seeks to inform both residents and industry colleagues about the mutually beneficial outcomes of reimagining what our big cities can look like: greater access to established public transport, shortened commutes, improved housing costs and vacancy rates, greater diversity in housing, and strengthened local economies and communities.
As a volunteer, Blonder is a subject-matter expert for the City of Toronto “Expanding Housing Options in our Neighborhoods” committee, a board member of affordable housing provider Kehilla, has co-authored the Housing Affordability Report of the Ontario Association of Architects, and served at the Design Review Panel of the City of Burlington where she provided Urban Design advice for development applications.
She practices what she preaches, living with her husband and two children in a multi-family building in a transit-accessible area of Toronto, where the park is their backyard.