Webinar: Tower Renewal in the Arrival City

March 13, 2015

Photo credit: ERA Architects

Photo credit: ERA Architects

Meet the vertical city! Visit Bijlmermeer in Amsterdam, Marzahn in Berlin, Thorncliffe Park in Toronto. High density, apartment tower neighbourhoods like these are ‘arrival cities’ to millions of urban migrants and home to some of the most vibrant, ambitious and often most vulnerable, low income communities in the city. Newcomer potential can be thwarted without access to the proper amenities – social services, public transit or local commercial and employment opportunities. How do we leverage the potential of these dynamic high-density neighbourhoods that newcomers call home? What are the policy, zoning and social investments needed to transform the urban fringe into an incubator of immigrant and community success?

Join us to learn how the ground-breaking Tower Neighbourhood Renewal project in Toronto is exploring alternative narratives about urban renewal from European cities, integrating social resiliency, stewardship, adaptability into city-building and changing how we think about and live in tower neighbourhoods.

This webinar is a live event in the Arrival City edition of the City Builder Book Club, and is brought to you by Cities of Migration and the Centre for City Ecology.

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Webinar Video

 Webinar Resources


Graeme StewartGraeme Stewart
Associate at ERA Architects and a founding director of the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R)
Toronto, Canada

Graeme Stewart M.Arch OAA MRAIC CAHP is a Toronto based architect and planner, where he is an Associate at ERA Architects and a founding director of the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R). Graeme has been involved in numerous urban design, cultural planning, conservation, community building and architecture initiatives with particular focus on neighbourhood design and regional sustainability. Graeme was a key initiator of the Tower Renewal Project. This initiative in modern heritage and community revitalization examines the future of Toronto’s remarkable stock of modern tower neighbourhoods in collaboration with the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, University of Toronto, various NGOs including the United Way, and other partners.

Graeme is also the co-editor of Concrete Toronto: A Guidebook to Concrete Architecture from the Fifties to the Seventies. He is a regular lecturer in the Toronto Area’s Universities and Colleges and has been a sessional instructor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto. In 2010, he was recipient of an RAIC National Urban Design Award for his ongoing research and design work related to Tower Renewal, and in 2014 received the Jane Jacobs Prize.

gerben_helleman b&wGerben Helleman
Urban Geographer and Blogger, Urban Springtime
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Gerben Helleman is an urban geographer from the Netherlands. At this moment he works at a housing association. An organisation that let accommodation and provide homes for those who cannot obtain housing on the open market. Here he focuses on urban/neighbourhood regeneration, the livability in and around residential complexes and supporting households on social themes. Before that he has been working by the Dutch Expert Centre for Urban Regeneration. A non-profit foundation providing an impulse on the issue by collecting, exchanging and availing expertise. He also has been a researcher and advisor at the OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, part of the Delft University of Technology.

Since 2011 he writes about diffrent urban issues as a freelance publicist. Among others on his blog Urban Spingtime. This blog is about the interface and connections between the Planned and the Lived city. He writes about the beautiful, funny and exciting sides of the city. This on the basis of inspiring projects, articles, books and observations. The blog is made for everybody who works on cities or who loves cities!

The City Builder Book Club

The City Builder Book Club is an online reading of Doug Saunders’ Arrival City in January 2015, inviting urbanists, migration experts, practitioners, and advocates from across the world to join a guided reading and global discussion of the book. The free, online book club will lead readers through Arrival City with weekly blog posts by international contributors, bi-weekly interactive activities and events, and lively online dialogues.

Follow us on Twitter @CityBuilderBook and join the conversation with the hashtags #ArrivalCity and #CityBuilders.


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