Innovation in Canadian Urbanism

Canada’s 150th anniversary is a great opportunity to think the way Canadian cities have evolved, what Canadian urbanism is about and in particular what is innovative in its current practice across the country.

The Council for Canadian Urbanism is presenting an overview of current trends and innovative practices across the country ranging from planning and design for climate change and sustainability, downtown revitalization, infill and intensification transit-oriented development, urbanizing suburbia to integration of traditional urbanism and innovative planning and design tools.
Innovative projects from across the country will be showcased – high rise communities, sustainable campuses, housing for social justice and diversity, infrastructure retrofit, placemaking. 

Session Details

Session ID: 
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017: 1:30pm - 5:00pm
3.0 Structured/Core AIA LU
Venue : 

Session Speaker(s)

Alexandru Taranu, MRAIC, OAA, FCIP, RPP, CanU

Manager, Architectural Design, City of Brampton

Alex is an urbanist and architect with extensive experience in Canada and abroad on a wide variety of projects including downtown revitalization, urbanization of suburban areas, sustainable, transit-oriented development, urban design review, heritage integration and project management.
He is advocate for sustainable and healthy urbanism, founder/ director of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Dan Leeming, FCIP, RPP

Partner, Urban Design, The Planning Partnership

Dan is a founding Partner of The Planning Partnership with over 40 years of experience in design and development of many new towns and planned communities for private and public agencies throughout Ontario and the United States. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a Board Member with the Council on Canadian Urbanism and Active Healthy Kids Canada.

David L.A. Gordon, FCIP, RPP, AICP, P.Eng

Professor and Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University

David Gordon is Professor and Director of the Queen’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. He holds the D.Des from the Harvard GSD and has also taught at Toronto, Western Australia, Harvard and Pennsylvania, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His latest research includes Town and Crown: An Illustrated history of Canada’s Capital and comparison of Canadian and Australian suburbs

Antonio Gómez-Palacio, RPP, MCIP, MRAIC

Principal, DIALOG

As a founding partner of DIALOG, Antonio is committed to creating healthy places, where people thrive – through dialogue.
Acting at the intersection of urban design, planning, and architecture, Antonio’s work utilizes a collaborative process, delivering healthier, complete communities. By engaging developers, residents, community/political leaders, Antonio’s plans & designs, have a track record of generating buy-in and being successfully implemented

Robert Freedman, MRAIC, AICP, LSUC

Principal, Freedman Urban Solutions

Robert Freedman, Principal of Freedman Urban Solutions, is a Toronto-based Urban Design and Planning consultant with a unique interdisciplinary background in Planning, Architecture and Law. Between 2002 and 2013, Robert was the Director of Urban Design for the City of Toronto where he led a number of major initiatives including the creation of design guidelines for mid-rise and tall buildings.

Ute Maya-Giambattista, MCIP, RPP, LEED AP

Principal, SGL Planing and Design

Ute is an Urban Designer with more than 15 years of experience. As an urban designer, Ute approaches her work with the understanding that design can be a vehicle for creating healthy places and communities being aware of the complexities of urban spaces and the potential of infrastructure to transform the vitality of a place.


Partner, Urban Strategies Inc.

Eric is an Urban Designer, a Planner and an Architect.  He is a Partner at Urban Strategies Inc. and has over 20 years of experience in Canada, the United States and Europe.  Eric has extensive redevelopment experience in sensitive urban areas in Canada – notably in the GTA, Ottawa, the United States and Europe. As a partner, he has led numerous award-winning downtown revitalization plans, community design plans, transit oriented developments and large scale master plans. Eric is an Urban Design industry leader and is a founding member of the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU). He has recently completed the award-winning University of Ottawa Master Plan.  

Rick Merrill, OAA, AIA, MCIP, RPP

Senior Advisor and Urban Designer, The Planning Partnership

Rick is a Senior Advisor and urban designer at The Planning Partnership.  Rick is trained and has practiced as both an architect and a planner over the past 30 years. In addition to his Canadian Memberships, he is a registered architect in the United States. Rick develops feasibility studies, urban design guidelines, community design plans and architectural controls as well as regularly assisting with workshops and charrettes.

Rick is ideally suited to projects that combine design and planning experience. Rick has worked on projects ranging from the design of office, residential and mixed-use buildings to the planning and design new communities to infill housing. He has the unique background of implementing large scale building projects as well as large urban and suburban master plans. 

Rick is a founding member of Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU).

We're Starting In


24-27 May 2017
Ottawa, Ontario

About Us

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Ontario Association of Architects have partnered to present the 2017 Festival of Architecture May 24-27, 2017 in Ottawa.

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For general information, please contact us at:

  • 1-844-856-RAIC ext 200
  • 613-241-3600
  • 330-55 Murray Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3