The city’s planning department is in the process of creating an urban design advisory panel to provide independent, objective, and professional urban design advice on tall and mid-rise buildings and all public development projects, studies, and policy initiatives with the objective of achieving design excellence in the city.The panel will be advisory only, and have no decision-making power.
The urban design advisory panel will:
- Increase awareness of the city’s urban design expectations;
- Assist staff with urban design analysis and improve decision making for infill and intensification development applications, public/corporate initiatives, and policy creation;
- Provide greater protection of public interest, community character and context; and
- Motivate/challenge the development industry to strive for design excellence.
The panel will consist of nine members with a balance of professional expertise including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners. Members will be highly qualified design professionals and possess full membership for a minimum of ten years in at least one of the following professional associations:
a) Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC);
b) Ontario Association of Architects (OAA);
c) Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA);
d) Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA);
e) Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP); and
f) Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI).
The panel shall collectively have a broad range of professional design experience such as:
a) Domestic and international work portfolio;
b) Variety of project scales and types including tall, mid, and low rise buildings;
c) Demonstrated leadership in city building;
d) Construction techniques, financial management, and feasibility; and
e) Application of sustainable design methods.
Staff have worked with the development industry to finalize a Terms of Reference document that will enable the creation and administration of this panel. The Terms of Reference contain a requirement for continued monitoring of the panel to ensure its ongoing effectiveness and facilitate further collaboration with the building industry as needed. The primary goal is to ensure that advice from the panel is integrated early in the development review process to reinforce the city’s expectation for a high standard of design excellence resulting in a more efficient and effective municipal development review
Recruitment for the panel will begin in Q4. It is anticipated that the panel will officially be in place by Q1 2018.
This information was conveyed to council via a memo in the Oct. 27 Council Information Package.