Urban Planning Blog

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

Incremental Urbanism in Mexico City

Written by: Misha Bereznyak I’m recently back from a visit to Mexico City, and was wondering what we in Toronto can learn from it. As the housing shortage in Toronto has reached a crisis level, the question of density and intensification has become more acute

Kissing Many Toads Before Finding the Prince: Office Conversion

A proposed plan to convert an office building to affordable housing Major cities across Canada and the US are facing 3 significant challenges: a massive housing shortage, excessive greenhouse gas emissions from new developments, and an oversupply of office spaces.   Toronto, for instance, closed

Financial Incentives for Affordable Housing Part 2

Part 1 was one of our most popular blog posts ever! So we decided to update it with a part 2!   Here is a selection of notable funds with a range of incentives, this article navigates through many options, highlighting some key financial pathways to

More than Letter Swaps: how to shift from TODs to TOCs? By Scaling Down

Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) were initially introduced to optimize land use around transit nodes, creating a model for transportation and land use integration. These developments are situated near higher-order transit, with streets mainly lined with mid-rise and high-rise buildings. They offer a mix of uses,

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,