Urban Planning Blog

Architecture and Urban Planning Blog for forward-thinking developers and innovative municipalities who want to achieve smarter density. 

Observations from Warsaw

Observations from Warsaw Not a typical European city Warsaw is not a typical European city. The city was almost fully demolished in 1944 by the Germans to destroy the Polish national identity. The Poles put enormous effort into rebuilding their capital, but because of limited

My Letter to Jon Love

Dear Jon,   We mostly know each other from LinkedIn, and you were a guest on my webinar series, which I am still grateful for; I appreciate the leadership you clearly demonstrated during the webinar.   And that’s why, seeing a leader of your magnitude

ULI Spring Meeting

Hey, are you attending the ULI Spring Meeting? I look forward to showing you the city I love and fortunate to call ‘home’. You can catch me at either of these: WLI Presents: An Evening of Curated Conversations at ULI / Urban Design on Tuesday,

Is it Time to Abolish Employment Lands?

Is it Time to Abolish Employment Lands? During the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s relationships with their cities and neighbourhoods shifted. Those fortunate enough to have jobs that could support remote work left their offices and began working from home. For many, this resulted in more time

Is there such a thing as a Bike-Lane NIMBY?

Is there such a thing as a Bike-Lane NIMBY? Written by Robert McQuillan After Smart Density’s recent “Out on the Town” bike tour, I’ve been reflecting on the state of cycling in Toronto. Is there such a thing as a bike lane NIMBY? You’ve heard

Out on the Town with the Smart Density Team

Out on the Town with the Smart Density Team It has been a busy summer at Smart Density! We have been hard at work; collaborating with our clients, planning and designing new concepts, and advancing our mission of changing the conversation about what good development

How Angular Planes Perpetuate Toronto’s Housing Crisis

How Angular Planes Perpetuate Toronto’s Housing Crisis You don’t need to be an architect, urban planner, developer, or realtor to know that Toronto needs more housing. Ask anyone who is trying to find a new home to rent or purchase in the city. It’s competitive,

In a search for a 3-bedroom, family unit

In a search for a 3-bedroom, family unit We love our neighbourhood – it has great shops and restaurants, it’s close to work, it has good transit connectivity, and we’ve developed a lineup of favourite parks that we frequent with our little ones. With a

Design will make or break a neighbourhood–building height won’t

Have you ever joined a community meeting about a new development? “It’s too tall,” you’ll hear neighbours proclaim. “The shadows will be unbearable!”Others suggest that mid rise and tall buildings “should only be built in the city’s core or near a highway.” Otherwise,they will “ruin

Helsingborg, I’m Coming!

5 Reasons I’m Excited about the Urban Future Global Conference After more than two years in Canada because of the pandemic, I’m looking forward to attending in-person events again! In June, I will be attending Helsingborg 22, the Urban Future Global Conference. The conference is

City of Toronto Mandatory Pre-Application

Mandatory Pre-Application | City of Toronto Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation: Proposed Amendments to the Official Plan and to the Municipal Code – Proposals Report May 26, 2021 Website on these Changes here. What is being proposed: The current development review process includes voluntary pre-application consultation. Applicants may request

How Other Cities in the U.S. and Canada Implement Missing Middle Policies?

Written by: Misha Bereznyak and Josh Papernick In July 2019, Mayor John Tory and Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão passed a motion that directed the planning department to consider new forms of development in Toronto’s ‘Neighbourhoods’. ‘Neighbourhood’ is a land use designation in Toronto’s Official Plan,