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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

OLIP Speaker Series: The Future of Cities

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

On January 12, 2021, we were thrilled to host the second event of our 45th Anniversary Speaker Series: The Future of Cities. The event brought together urban planning and landscape architecture professionals to discuss how we can and are moving forward to make the urban environments in which we live more sustainable, equitable, and livable places. We had the pleasure of welcoming Ms. Habon Ali of Sidewalk Labs, Ms. Christine Abe of The MBTW Group, and Mr. Eldon Theodore of MHBC as our panelists for the event, as well as our moderator, Mr. Scott Barrett, who works with the City of Toronto.

The discussion covered a range of topics, including the importance of choosing sustainable construction materials to reduce carbon emissions and the way technology can help us to plan buildings and communities that better integrate the diverse needs of our population. The panelists also discussed the use of more natural environments and structures within urban areas, highlighting ways that green roofs, rain barrels, urban forests, and drought-tolerant plants can help us to better retain and reuse rainfall, avoid flooding, conserve our water resources, and cool our cities.

As one might expect, the impact of the current pandemic was also a large topic of conversation. The panelists highlighted the importance of community, arguing that our current conception of the main street as a hub of social activity is not going away any time soon. They also discussed the importance of addressing the socio-economic disparities that the pandemic has highlighted, ensuring that we do not leave certain communities behind with aging infrastructure, but that we build flexible multi-use spaces, and holistic communities with all the necessary amenities nearby.

Overall, it was a fascinating discussion that covered a wide range of issues and really highlighted the practical impact that planning and architectural decisions have on our daily lives and communities. If you missed the event and are interested in hearing more, you can find our conversation here:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the event and to AMAPCEO, our amazing official sponsor for the Speaker Series!

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