Neighbourscape Toronto 2030

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PEG LAHN & CAMERON NORMAN Toronto Neighbourscape 2030: Futures of Thriving Toronto Neighbourhoods SFIN 6C02: Foresight Studio Final Project Dossier December 2012 2 Â

Navigation Table of Contents: 6 Introduc-on 8 Project Outline 9 Project Approach 10 Research Ques-on 15 Federa-on X: 16 Strategies 18 Trends and Drivers 19 Trends 23 > The Glocal Village 26 > The Ci-zen Cartographer 29 > Seeing My Data 31 > Mixed Use Zoning 33 > Ci-es are Growing Up 35 > Falling Glass Towers 37 > Where did ‘away’ go? 38 > Reclaim industrial spaces 40 > I’m Walkin’ 42 > Small But Mighty 43 > Rise of City-­‐States 45 > Downtown McRetail 46 > The Power of 10 49 > I Share, You Share

51 > I’ll Trade You This for That 53 > Are We There Yet? 54 > Third Space 57 > Toronto Grown Tastes 58 > DIY Neighbourhood 60 > Home is Where the Work is (Done or Near) 62 Drivers 65 Uncertain-es 66 > Cri-cal Uncertain-es 67 Scenarios 68 > Economy of Scale 71 > The Commonists 73 > The Wild West 76 > The Privateers 80 Strategies 83 > Matured Value: Seniors 84 > Zoned Out: Mul--­‐use zoning 88 > The Net-­‐Bourhood: Virtual Community 93 > Re-­‐Boot the Rise: Tower Renewal 99 Opportuni-es 104 References 113 Credits 3


"In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5 billion” - United Nations Population Fund (2005;2007). Urbanization: A Majority in Cities: Population & Development



The world’s population is becoming more urbanized. In the early part of this century the planet reached a milestone: more people were living in cities than anywhere else. Within these cities exist microcosms of smaller communities tied together by geographic proximity, shared infrastructure, physical landscape, and often social customs: neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods are the villages of the 21st century and also serve as hosts for what Marshall McLuhan called The Global Village. The City of Toronto is relatively young by global measures, but poised to transform into a leading centre of commerce, culture and ideas in the next 20 years as it draws an influx of social capital from around the world. The people at the heart of that capital are settling into hundreds of small neighbourhood communities as part of this larger social project called Toronto.

Technology and globalization are bringing people together, both socially and geographically, in ways that have never been seen before. This is changing the way people organize themselves physically, the demographic composition of those who inhabit those spaces, and the kinds of activities people do in such space. Some of this is online, some of it is in the physical world, all of it is in the neighbourhood.

What that neighbourhood looks like is up to us. The Neighbourscape 2030 initiative has sought to explore possible futures by employing foresight methodology to provide strategic insight into the trends and patterns that are will shape the next 20 years in the city of Toronto. The aim of this initiative is to provide guidance to philanthropic and grantmaking communities on the strategies and tactics that could best serve their needs as well as those of the citizens of Toronto. 6

WHAT WILL A THRIVING TORONTO NEIGHBOURSCAPE LOOK LIKE IN 2030? NEIGHBOURSCAPE is a term derived for this project to encapsulate thinking that suggests the concept of neighbourhood goes beyond the traditional physical sense of the word, yet is still rooted in a sense of place. It is also a landscape that is transforming online and off such that dynamic engagement between these worlds makes for something more than the term neighbourhood itself captures alone. 7

PROJECT OUTLINE The City of Toronto is a city on the move… Within a generation this city’s size is expected to more than double to 7.1 million people by 2030 (Dotan, 2012), continuing to expand its diversity (City of Toronto, 2012) as immigrants from around the world choose Toronto as their home. As its demographics change so will its economics, social life and the demands and opportunities that come with a larger, more densely populated urban centre and the neighbourhoods within it. This new milieu will create new connections and utilize emergent tools to facilitate that connectivity to each other and the world. The decisions that government, business, and citizen groups make will mitigate the impact such changes have on Toronto and particularly its most vulnerable citizens. How to plan for the future depends on what we see as part of that future (indeed, futures - plural) and to this end we ask:


will a thriving urban neighbourscape look like in Toronto in 2030?

The term neighbourscape reflects the interplay between the physical and virtual environments that intertwine within Toronto’s neighbourhoods and where people live, work and come together. It is about that sense of place that is negotiated, complicated, but nonetheless locates a person and ties them to a city. A sense of personal connection to a space and place is what makes a neighbourhood more than just a place to live. For this initiative, the aim was to assist organizations operating in the social benefit sector to visualize possible futures and strategically plan for scenarios to enhance their ability to optimize operations for present and anticipated future challenges and enhance their resiliency in the face of rapid and prolific social change. This is not a predictive exercise. Instead, through building on present trends, extrapolating these into scenarios, and running strategy options through these hypothetical situations a series of plausible options present themselves for consideration.


PROJECT APPROACH A FORESIGHT STUDY on thriving Toronto neighbourscapes

This initiative brings together research collected from secondary research, observation and consultation with key advisors working closely on issues of city building, grant making, neighbourhood economic development, policy development and information technology to provide possible answers to this question. Drawing on established foresight methods (Gordon, 2009; Kahane, 2012; Schwartz, 1996; Wade, 2012; van der Heijden, 2005) a four-person interdisciplinary team from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program at OCAD U identified, collected, and synthesized data on activities that are deemed likely to influence the holistic well-being of Toronto’s urban neighbourhoods over the next 20 years. Initial trends and drivers were identified and clustered based on theme using a simple content analysis procedure. Where possible, clusters were consolidated to produce “mega” trend statements, and organized based on thematic similarity to one another when inserted into an asset map. To frame the exercise, the metaphor of the compass was used to derive four future scenarios that are organized based on the degree of social agency available (individual to collective) and the distribution of social/political/economic power (diffuse/distributed or concentrated). Simultaneously, a series of strategic intervention options for funders were developed. These strategic options were identified as having potential benefit for funding organizations, and used to locate avenues for potential investment, scope possible threats, and identify issues related to organizations’ structural capacity to achieve their mission of enhancing the wellbeing of the citizens of Toronto. The result is a series of strategic intervention scenarios that explore possible futures of the urban neighbourscape from a perspective of funders operating in Toronto’s public benefit sector. The strength of the pre-determined elements connected to the urban neighbourhood (such as seniors aging, falling infrastructure, mixed-used zoning, steady proliferation of social networking applications, availability of information, and mobile technologies) were the principal forces driving the selection of these scenarios. The scenarios take into account these pre-determined elements based on existing activities and weave a series of strategic intervention options that consider different social and political realities that remain uncertain. 9


The prime error (with futurist predictions) is as follows. When asked to imagine the future, we have the tendency to take the present as a baseline, then produce speculative destiny by adding new technologies and products to it and what sort of makes sense, given an interpolation of past developments. We also represent society according to our utopia of the moment, largely driven by our wishes – except for a few people called doomsayers, the future will be largely inhabited by our desires. So we will tend to over-technologize it and underestimate the might of the equivalent of these small wheels on suitcases that will be staring at us for the next millennia. - Nassim Nicholas Taleb 10 Â


The Research Question Toronto is city of many neighbourhoods with an eclectic mix of socio-economic populations, demographics, ethnicities, as well as new/old residential housing circumstances. We considered what the implications of these trends are for citizens living in a more dense urban centre over the next twenty years. To explore these prospects, we asked the following question to drive the research: What will a thriving urban neighbourscape look like in Toronto in 2030? Time Frame Given the pace of change associated with many key elements shaping a neighbourhood (e.g., built environment, zoning and bylaws, civic plans and policies, physical infrastructure) it was decided that the most appropriate time horizon for actionable strategy was 20 years. Assumptions The scenarios presented in this foresight project are grounded in current patterns that are pre-determined. For example, we know that there will be a large percentage of the population become senior citizens. We also know that highly interconnected information technologies will continue to proliferate as communication tools and entertainment devices. Other conditions, such as consequences associated with peak oil and global patterns of energy consumption based on the technologies in use today, are certain in their unfolding in the coming years, yet it is uncertain how society will respond to these energy issues. Based on current conditions and visible trends, the following assumptions have been made to underlie the development of scenarios and hypotheses: 11


+ Baby Boom Retirement: Within the next 20 years those born in the ‘baby boom’ (1946 - 1964) will begin retiring in large enough numbers to create a major shift in the productive job market, distribution of funds, and increased demands for certain forms of health care and social support. + Generation Y Maturing: While the ‘boomers’ substantially reduce their role in the job market or leave it altogether, Generation Y (born late 1970’s to early 2000’s) will be at the peak ages for seeking employment (and filling specific jobs) and social spending (e.g., home purchasing, having children).

+ A well-connected community. Drawing from work of the same name (Gilchrist, 2004), we assume information tools and technologies will continue to facilitate greater connectivity between people, ideas and their intersection. Social connectedness through information technology will continue to increase in opportunities and scope. Networking in on and offline fora through myriad devices will support a highly interconnected ‘meshed’ city. The tools and infrastructure to support this connectivity will be ubiquitous and nearly invisible to its users who have become accustomed to being ‘always connected’.

+ Economic volatility: None of the forecasts available suggest that Canada’s economy - mirroring that of the global economy - is going to return to sustained robust growth between now and 2030. Canada’s economy is predicted to be the strongest of the OECD for the next 50 years (OECD, 2013), however it is also likely with global uncertainty and few identified monetary policy tools available, that the markets will be more volatile with frequent ‘shocks’.

+ Energy prices continue to rise and there will be an increasingly greater push everywhere for cheaper, sustainable energy options. The pressure to reduce consumption, increase ‘green’ production (as a percentage of total energy generated) and maintain some stability in prices and service capacity will be constant and persistent.

+ Place is central to the experience of neighbourhood; Toronto is characterized and planned based on neighbourhoods defined by geography and shared socioeconomic conditions. A thriving neighbourhood is one where there is safety, security, beauty, social activity and economic opportunity for its residents.

+ Conservative Policy Influence. A series of small and large-c conservative policies enacted in the early 2010’s at the federal and provincial levels created wholesale reductions in the capacity of government to intervene on matters of public good (e.g., water protection, social policy requiring detailed census data). Regardless of the governmental positions that take place post 2012, the effect of these policies will last for many years. For example, the abolishment of the long-form census will create a gap in data collection that will not be filled for certain years.

+ Employment -- where it exists, what jobs entail, and its conditions -- will change considerably. Full time employment, pensions and benefits, and unions will all be less common, while freelance, piecemeal or contract work will be more regularized.



Completed condo projects in the city of Toronto (avg 159 units each)


Condo developments presently in development in Toronto (avg 276 units each) As of July 2012. Source: Toronto Life and Urbanation Research Group 13 Â


NEIGHBOURSCAPE TORONTO 2030 Group process OVERVIEW: Identify the question

Identify trends and deeper drivers of social change Explore predetermined elements already “in the pipeline” Select foresight tool: 2x2 matrix Identify critical uncertainties: elements with high impact and high uncertainty Map independent uncertainties on 2x2 matrix

Synthesize critical uncertainties to generate 4 possible futures Refine audience and client: Federation X Plumb predetermined elements and ambassador input for potential strategies Use wind tunneling to unearth implications for various strategies in 4 possible futures Identify signposts that suggest if scenarios in which strategies may be detrimental are emerging


FEDERATION X FEDERATION X: An Imagined Funders’ Alliance for GTA THE TARGET AUDIENCE OF NEIGHBOURSCAPE 2030 IS: Federation X, a strategic partnership of grant-making and likeminded organizations collaborating to support connected, innovative, just and sustainable development for Toronto’s lower income populations. The Federation is a grantmaking leader in the City of Toronto. Private, public and non-profit organizations as well as funds from private citizens are all part of this alliance, contributing to an organization that seeks to create a vibrant Toronto community of thriving neighbourhoods. Federation X pools resources, optimizes core competencies and shares risks to strategically target problems aimed at promoting and supporting resilience and innovation particularly at the neighbourhood level.

WORKING MISSION The goal of the Federation is to shape development of just, inclusive and thriving neighbourscapes in Toronto. The Federation advances this mission through strategic investments in research, policy and practice across the STEEP V (Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, Political,Values) continuum. PRINCIPLES This collaborative approach leverages the diverse expertise across sectors of Federation X partners, and supports member grant-makers to practice innovation by funding early prototypes and iterations of potential solutions to complex problems. An alliance model shares the risks of investing on a 20 year timeline. POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTORS This alliance might include some or all of: •  Ontario Trillium Foundation •  Toronto Community Foundation •  George C. Metcalf Foundation •  Atkinson Charitable Foundation •  Maytree Foundation •  Toronto Atmospheric Fund •  United Way of Toronto •  Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal •  Wellesley Institute •  MESH Cities •  Centre for Urban Ecology •  Social Innovation Generation (SIG at MARSDD) •  OCADU sLab •  Local partner groups and others 15





FORESIGHT METHODS The approach to developing this foresight analysis and its recommendations are grounded in methods that have been applied to business, defense, government and non-profit sector work for more than 40 years (Schwartz, 1996). These methods can combine horizon scanning, literature reviews, observational data collection, stakeholder and key informant interviews and (where possible) quantitative modeling (OECD, 2012). The products generated from this research are further refined using imaginative design-driven processes aimed at creatively posing narratives based on data, sensemaking (Snowden, 2002 ; Weick, Sutcliffe, & Obstfeld, 2005) and interpretive storytelling (Denzin, 2001).


The horizon scanning began with the research of trends using the STEEP-V (Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, Political and Values) framework as a guide. This involves identifying signals as well as considering implications, countertrends and making extrapolations (hypothesized outcomes and activities emerging from these trends) for each identified trend. The STEEP-V process forces the research team to consider implications of trends, robustness of drivers, and possible intended and unintended consequences based on activities intentionally driven or otherwise on the topic. An iterative series of steps were repeated to produce trends based on observation, available data, and review of the diffuse literature on neighbourhood development. 18 Â



The 30-year $1.9 billion plan to redevelop the Port Lands is one of the world’s biggest urban projects and will include 8,700 new housing units as well as commercial space and parkland. (Micallef, 2012)

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“Welcome to the vertical ‘hood” (Wallace, 2009)

1 million - Population of Toronto living in multi-unit dwellings (2nd highest concentration in North America) -  City of Toronto (2011) & Toronto Atmoshpheric Fund (2012)


TREND: THE GLOCAL VILLAGE (M The proliferation of devices and methods for connecting to the world through the Internet is producing a paradoxical interest in creating interest in local issues and tools. Radio, a once neglected media, is reinventing itself. Geolocation apps like Foursquare and Yelp are allowing people to use information technology to explore their neighbourhoods in more sophisticated ways. Local-focused news media have arisen, providing neighbourhood level coverage within a larger city news section (e.g., BlogTO). The Glocal Village is one where the tools that make the world big, also make it small.

Signals: The late 2000’s saw a rise in availability and popularity of new hyper-local digital and print news media (e.g. BlogTO, Torontoist, Toronto Standard, Spacing, NOW Magazine, The Grid), filling a vacuum created by traditional print and television media sources that were increasingly cutting staff and focusing on more newswire stories that are generic and rarely relevant to specific neighbourhoods. Radio, once considered a dying media, has been revitalized by local or culturally- focused stations (e.g., CHIN, Proud FM), news radio, and campus channels replacing the previously dominant pop culture programming . For example, CBC Radio 1’s flagship morning show, Metro Morning, has seen its audience rise and overall market share to the largest in its history and tops in the Toronto market (CBC, 2011). The trend towards revitalizing forgotten or neglected historic buildings and areas such as the Distillery District, Wychwood Barns, Brickworks, Liberty Village and the stockyards has created new economic opportunities through commerce and tourism, but also for digital imaging as they have become popular sites for movie production, photography, and arts programming. Geolocation apps such as Foursquare, Urbanspoon, Groupon and Yelp allow users to discover places, products and services near them by name, type and availability. This is reinvigorating the experience of users walking in neighbourhoods, allowing people to better engage with where they are in the physical world, while simultaneously linking to online opinions, reviews and knowledge from the online (and possible global) world. This real-world experience can be further enhanced through the use of augmented reality technology such as that provided by Google’s Project Glass ( or Brock University History professor Kevin Kee’s project that allows people to travel back through history by seeing what historical events took place wherever a person stands (Medland, 2012). Already apps such as Layar can be used to add informational layers to an image scanned via an iPhone allowing people to learn details about the physical environment around them helping navigation and exploration. 23

Implications: The neighbourscape experience is both wider and deeper in the the Glocal Village. By creating a highly connected web of networked experiences embedded within a physical community. Augmented reality, geolocation, and the rich visual landscape created by widespread, high-quality video, audio and image-based media tools will provide an rich informational overlay to live in the neighbourhood. This Glocal village experience will allow people to explore their neighbourhood’s rich history, social knowledge base, and provide a rich media experience to their everyday life over and above how they connect with others physically, emotionally, and transactionally in the physical world. This is not all positive as it both expands access to information, but also divides attention. There is a potential that divided attention will lead to a less rich social life, even if that life is more informed. Connecting globally through the web may introduce as many distractions as it yields intimacies with ones place of residence and home (the neighbourscape). Extrapolation: A truly ‘meshed’ neighbourhood where people are connected to the data, information and knowledge that they need to govern their lives and support their community. This is a space where people are highly interconnected to the variety of products and services available to them -- whether at a storefront or being delivered out of a basement apartment -- and the prices and comparative quality of each product and service offered. 24

“The old rules of manufacturing, such as “you must seek economies of scale” and “you must reduce unit-labour costs”, are being cast aside.” - The Economist, November 24, 2012 25

TREND: THE CITIZEN CARTOGRAPHER X% Engaged citizens equipped with relatively basic crowdsourcing technology are using mapping as a means to understand and influence the politics and public policy decisions of their cities like never before. This is both a technological and socially focused trend. In the 17th century, imperial cartographers had an advantage over local communities. Mapping was managed by government authorities who controlled access to information on infrastructure, population trends, transportation and market activity. In the 21st century mapmaking has been democratized. Citizen mapping has been enabled by governments opening data to the public (e.g. Hasham, A., 2012) combined with new abilities to crowdsource information. The introduction of open-source mapping tools like OpenStreetMap combined with ubiquitous mobile devices with GPS technology enables citizens to plot information about facilities, infrastructure and services available in their cities and neighborhoods. Individuals are creating maps for themselves, analyzing and synthesizing them for use in their personal narrative. They record what is important to them and map the kinds of things that previously would not be mapped. Citizen cartographers are able to map information about their communities that capture the diversity of moments in their lives and contribute to the conversations of urban living. This mapped information can be a powerful lever to affect public policy decisions and programs that impact cities and local communities. Signals: During the summer of 2011, the United Kingdom experienced riots that were the most violent in a generation. The motivation for the protests has been subject to much debate. Prime Minister David Cameron denied outright (PM’s speech on the fightback after the riots, August 2011) that the riots had anything to do with poverty. Datablog, the data visualization service at The Guardian newspaper overlaid the addresses of the defendants in the riots with concentrations of poverty, and the website produced a map showing a much different picture: nearly 60 percent of those arrested lived within the top 20 percent of England’s most deprived areas (The Guardian, 2011, August 16). Another example comes from the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake where rescue workers used real-time data uploads on Open Street Map (, via text and cellphone messages, to help create up-to-date maps of Haiti and locate the injured. 26 Â

The Dynamic Connections Map (, Unlocking Future Bicycle Networks with the World’s First Crowdsourced Bicycle Map. (n.d.)) was an experiment to create an interactive map of Berlin using crowdsourcing and `crowdcycling`. While traditional mapping efforts show current conditions and what type of bicycle infrastructure is located on given roads, the Dynamic Connections Map allows regular and potential bicycle riders to assess the current biking network, rate streets on how cycle friendliness and unlock a potential future cycle network. The Dynamic Connections Map allows anyone and everyone to rate different Berlin streets on suitability for cycling by answering five simple questions. A further example comes from work in early 2012 where The World Bank (n.d.) and its partners staged the first ever global “water hackathon,” with volunteer tech experts in London devising a system to allow Tanzanians to report water problems through SMS messages, and tech experts in Lagos to devise new applications for reporting broken pipes. These examples illustrate the varied and complex uses of information technologies and geolocation tools to create social value in neighbourhoods. Implications: The mapping of the 2011 riots in the United Kingdom revealed that governments can no longer obfuscate civic matters without challenge. Map-making capabilities in the hands of citizens can provide timely, evidence-based information that illuminates veracities and holds politicians (and corporations) accountable. Now citizens are in a position to make engage with their governments supported by documented facts and correlations, and anecdotes. Citizens are increasingly empowered to use mapping to address their own interests and those of their special interest community (e.g. cyclists in Berlin). Citizen cartography could have an enormous impact on assisting urban development in communities that don’t have formal information infrastructures to leverage data for planning and response purposes. Information gathered this way could also support investment and resource allocation decisions. Extrapolations: Governments and public servants could collaborate with citizen cartographers, and together provide urban centres, citizens and communities with timely, relevant and broad information. This collaboration/integration would expand understanding of pertinent issues and identify opportunities for innovation. Such as system would enable citizens to map and/or give feedback on resources in their community - information that could be used to improve service delivery, fight corruption and track resources. Citizen cartographers would be one set of influencers together with citizen monitors and citizen evaluators to contribute to citizen-driven development.


“There is a magic in graphs. The profile of a curve reveals in a flash a whole situation — the life history of an epidemic, a panic, or an era of prosperity. The curve informs the mind, awakens the imagination, convinces.” Henry D. Hubbard (in Brinton, 1939, Preface)


TREND: SEEING MY DATA (M Data visualization, the transformation of large amounts information into graphic images, enables decision makers to spot trends and patterns that help them better understand their cities. It is a technology-focused trend that brings together new tools in data analysis with graphic design.  Few things in the field of information intelligence today can bring us closer to fulfilling its promise of helping to make better decisions than data visualization (Brinton, 1939). Effective data visualization enables decision makers to quickly see and grasp patterns or trends that might otherwise may go undiscovered (c.f., Rendgen, 2012). Data visualization simplifies the complex nature of information that is generated every day and acts as a tool to help drive insights. Computer systems now are able to collect, store, and analyze data in real time. Data visualization helps to tell a story. It provides a powerful means both to make sense of data and to then communicate and share information (MaRS, 2012). Signals: In 2006, the city of Sault Ste. Marie was able to eliminate what could have been a potentially serious public health threat related to the West Nile Virus. The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre had done a systematic job of enabling the sharing of data sets between various municipalities within the city. The data sets were then being merged using data maps to uncover new insights. Through this activity, the Centre happened to learn about an unusually large collection of mosquitoes within the city’s underground transformer vaults. Due to an absence of draining structures which had unknowingly become the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Were it not for the use of data visualization, this threat of West Nile Virus would not have been discovered and mitigated (ESRI Canada, 2010). . Data visualization enables governments to visually interpret a great deal of information that they regularly collect such as census data. A data visualization depicting population changes in the Greater Toronto Area from 1996 to 2011 using data collected by Statistics Canada indicated that population growth had slowed in Toronto and Mississauga and risen in areas north of those cities (Statistics Canada, 2012). Data visualization of the bus network in London is used to provide real time information on the dynamics of the system. The trips visualised are the basis to identify the critical areas of congestion on the road system. That information when combined with traffic flow data enables decisions to be made on remedying congestion and routing during the work day and over longer time periods. 29 Â

To facilitate rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the United States, an emergency response organization, used analytic and data visualization tools to determine which parts of the region might need equipment, health resources, “Data is the new oil!” food and shelter. Those tools also helped identify - Clive Humby, ANA Senior potential supply chain bottlenecks in areas where marketer’s summit, 2006 medication and supplies might be needed. In the healthcare sector, visualizations are being used to increase understanding of mortality rates, readmission rates, costs of hospital stays and other health indicators. Implications: Because data visualization is simplifying interpretation of complex data, decision makers are equipped to make decisions that are better informed and more timely. The use of data visualization, in the case of potential of health related epidemics is a powerful intervention tool. For cities and neighbourhoods, data visualization is invaluable to government, non-profits, citizen groups and the private sector as a technique to plan for the future, make changes and in the case of emergency situations, mitigate risk and damage. Extrapolations: Mainstream, traditional media such as newspapers and television, already marginalized by the internet will be further challenged to respond and report breaking news by organizations that can deploy data visualization methods to capture real time information in compelling ways beyond simple reportage. Citizens, governments and corporations will continue to be challenged to manage judiciously the information generated by big data and social media. The way these two phenomena come together will guide policy and practice decisions in real-time. 30

TREND: MIXED USE ZONING #$ The adoption of mixed use zoning by cities is transforming urban neighbourhoods by enabling them to be innovative, generate business growth and build community spirit. Mixed use zoning helps revitalize neighbourhoods, attract new residents and new talent and address issues of inequity. Since the 1970s, the gradual departure of heavy industry from the urban core has meant forced land use separation is increasingly unnecessary in cities, and mixed use zoning is a prudent urban planning strategy. Also, the new urbanism that emerged in the 1980s as a trend that has revived the traditional neighborhood, a part of which includes live-work units in which families lived above the store. Proponents of such a strategy aspire to being able to walk to work, have access to public spaces to engage with others in their community, and have a vibrant neighbourhood of social and economic activity. Mixed use zoning can be a source of municipal innovation by introducing unique urban planning ideas. Mixed use zoning can be a means to revitalize flagging neighbourhoods, to shape neighbourhoods in transition, to mitigate inequities among citizens and to protect vulnerable populations. Urban centres are embracing the benefits of mixed use communities as a means to making their cities more livable, prosperous and attractive. Signals: In Toronto, the “regenerationâ€? of the areas encompassing of King and Spadina and King and Parliament in the late 1960s permitted a wide variety of land use, such as residential, live/work spaces, retail, commercial, entertainment and light industrial. Today the two areas are full of condominiums, live/work spaces, bars, clubs, restaurants and retail shops. Employment activity has grown by 18%, outpacing the comparable city growth rate of 11 % and almost 40% of neighbourhood residents walk to work. With West Queen West Triangle, the city of Toronto negotiated with developers Baywood,Veridoc and Urban corp to build community and arts facilities , including 190 affordable units, donate $1.25 million to Public Health and sell rental units to the not for profit arts nongovernmental organization, Artscape at cost. (Martin Prosperity Insitute, 2012). Artscape Youngplace (formerly Artscape Shaw Street Centre) will transform the historic Shaw Street School into a dynamic community gathering place. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto is in the final stages of a multi-phase, multi year transformation of itself as a healthcare institution with the aim of creating a positive presence in its Queen Street neighbourhood. Upon completion of its redevelopment project CAMH will be an integrated community which connects its facilities with shops, residences, businesses, parks, and through-streets along Queen Street West. 31 Â

In 2012 (Preserving Edmonton’s rich past while planning for the future), Edmonton announced plans to convert its defunct city-centre airport into a bustling collection of residences and stores. It's a green project that is unprecedented in Canada for its size, scale and proximity to the downtown core. The plans include housing for about 30,000 residents, retail and park space, light-rail transit and renewable energy sources. The proposed developments are largely medium-density walk-ups and apartments. In Denver, the downtown property that currently houses Office Depot will be transformed into a new 10-story mixed-use development called 16M. The plans include residential rental units, 130,000 square feet of office space, 15,000 square feet of retail space, a rooftop fitness center and outdoor terrace, and three levels of underground parking with direct access to all floors. Implications: Municipal design committees may be more open to considering more mixed use zoning projects to build commercial activity while accommodating the needs and interest of residents who are interested in easy access to shops and entertainment venues from their homes. For the city, diversified revenues streams from mixed use zones could be more stable and could mitigate against unforeseen circumstances. Municipalities could work with real estate developers in terms of offering incentives to build affordable housing; however, tensions between residents, developer and merchants could rise. Traffic and more cars could make the community less livable and more unsafe. Extrapolations: Mixed used zoning could have a positive impact on the housing for increasing single people, young and older, in urban centres. Residential units with commercial amenities could be attractive to these sector. Refurbishing and retrofitting buildings would enable energy efficient systems to be built which could reduced the carbon footprint in urban centres. 32

Mixed use

TREND: CITIES ARE GROWING UP MY Cities are physically and conceptually re-aligned as vertical rather than horizontal spaces In some cases, cities are physically growing up (and down). In others, public consciousness of vertical space in cities is increasing. With pressures from high-density growth, outdated buildings and infrastructure, and new multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs), planners, politicians and residents are rethinking the physical cityscape as growing up rather than sprawling outward beyond current boundaries. Buildings are reconsidered as multi-use rather than single use spaces – in some cases, mini-cities – with implications for zoning and building codes. This social trend is changing the very nature of what it means to live in a neighbourhood. Signals: Recent emergence of concepts like vertical farms, green walls, the urban forest, green roofs, the High Line and proposed underground Lowline spaces in NYC signal movement toward viewing the cityscape as a vertical system. There are signals that highrise living is increasingly viewed as an opportunity for vertical community building, as in “Welcome to the vertical ‘hood” (Wallace, 2009), in which Councillor Adam Vaughan outlines his vision of a vertically integrated city. Tower renewal initiatives are related to this trend, with millions of dollars allocated by multiple funders to breath new life into Toronto’s MURBs. Tower renewal (http:// involves a physical restoration or reclamation of buildings, infilling with needed amenities and services between towers, and encouraging decreased silo attitudes toward buildings formerly distinguished as “housing”, “offices”, “recreation”, “government” and other uses. Tower renewal has been gathering momentum in Toronto since 2010. The trend appears to be in its early stages: United Way Toronto committed $800,000 in June 2012 to new tower renewal pilot projects, and the Metcalf Foundation’s Local Inclusive Economies initiative has a high-rise connection. The Toronto Atmospheric Fund also launched a pilot project on tower renewal, Tower Wise, in October 2012 ( Implications: Toronto has the second highest concentration of MURBs in the world with 1 million people living in almost 2000 high-rise towers (City of Toronto (2011), Toronto Atmoshpheric Fund (2012)). High-rises provide an opportunity to re-envision and re-invest in neighbourhoods in Toronto. The increasing awareness of vertical planes can spark zoning and building code changes to support transformation of vertical spaces into communities. Policy changes that permit commercial activity, multiple use zones, and creative use of infill for community development (including on-site gardens and composting) may be an output of this trend. 33

Counter Trends: “Front porches are making a big comeback,” say Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg in USA Today (2012). They report that in 2011, 65% of new homes built in the US had a front porch – that’s up from 42% ten years earlier. Will this horizontal expansion in the neighbourscape challenge the vertical realignment trend? Extrapolation: If vertical neighbourhoods achieve high levels of economic and social self-sufficiency, they could become ivory towers in the city. Tower complexes could become mini-cities that reduce the likelihood locals will interact meaningfully in other parts of the larger city. Many concrete MURBs are currently located in Toronto’s “Priority Neighbourhoods”, those with lower than average affluence and resources and higher, more complex community needs. Investing public money in renewing these towers, making them energy efficient, lowering operating costs, and improving livability may create conditions for gentrification. In current tower renewal models, private building owners are permitted to increase rents to reflect the value of these upgrades, potentially forcing out low-income earners for whom these buildings are being made more livable and serviceable. 34

WATCH FOR FALLING GLASS TREND: FAILING GLASS CONDO TOWERS (M "They call them CONDOMiniums because the developer gets to screw the buyer without incurring risk.” THE GLASS CONDO CONUNDRUM, by Ted Kesik, Ph.D., P.Eng. Professor of Building Science University of Toronto “Falling glass from Toronto's condominium tower buildings has ajracted a great deal of public ajen-on star-ng in the late summer of 2011. The consequences of such failures could prove tragic and there has been a widespread response to how this problem can be avoided in the future… Much less sensa-onal, but poten-ally far more damaging, is another problem with the hundreds of condominium tower buildings recently built across the GTA. It also has to do with glass -­‐ not falling glass, but glass used as the primary building envelope that separates the indoors from the outdoors. Virtually all of the glass condominium towers feature window wall systems that enclose the en-re facade of these buildings. Window walls are thermally inefficient compared to curtain walls or punched windows, and they also exhibit ques-onable performance in terms of durability, air and water leakage. Industry experts forecast that many of these window wall systems will require extensive retrofit or replacement within 15 to 20 years aoer they have been constructed in order to remediate these performance problems.”

Toronto has more glass towers than any city in North American (Emporis, 2012). The glass towers have been dubbed “throw-away buildings” as they are expected to require major retrofits within 15 – 25 years of construction, costing millions of dollars (CBC News, 2011). News of 15 panes of shattered glass falling from two towers at Bay and Grosvenor made news in 2011. Other towers from different developers continued to experience shattering glass throughout 2012 (Preville, 2012).


TREND: WHERE DID ‘AWAY’ GO? lL “Away” is increasingly recognized as a concept, not a place. Disposable items are increasingly viewed as resources, not waste. The habit of throwing things “away” when they have stopped serving their primary purpose may be changing in Toronto. This trend suggests paradigms may be shifting, and the pervasive dichotomies that have separated local from global, and waste from resource are becoming less concrete. These small shifts in values may herald an era where industrial or cross-sector “eco-systems” and local sustainability increase, illustrating a new values trend. Signals: Waste no longer gets thrown “away”. The City of Toronto aims to divert 70% of residential waste from landfill; although only 50% was diverted last year, Toronto generated less waster overall despite an increase in the city’s population (Toronto Community Foundation. 2012). Leaves, if not kept on site, are collected, composted centrally, and returned to the community at Councillor’s Environment Days for residential use. Plastic bags, which get thrown away and which facilitate throwing other items away, were banned in the city in 2012 – although this decision may not hold, it indicates a shift in public concepts of disposability. In the same ways things no longer go “away”, there is an increasing pressure to generate what we need locally. Distributed heat and power generation, including geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, and combined heat and power systems are seen to reduce dependence on fuel sources from non-local sources. Incentives including Feed-In-Tariffs, retrofit grants and community bonds support a shift toward local power sources. Similarly, there is a trend toward sourcing food locally. Implications: As high-rise tower and neighbourhood renewal increases in Toronto, new proposals incorporate on-site waste management, storm water and grey water recycling, heat and power generation, and food production and exchange. There may be increasing opportunities for local generation and exchange of goods and services. Industrial symbiosis and eco-industrial park models are developing in other countries (, Lehtoranta, Nissinen, Mattila & Melanen, 2011) and efforts to incorporate them into Toronto’s planning and renewal strategies are appearing (Toronto Office of Tower Renewal, 2011). Counter Trends: Offshoring continues: Businesses, governments and services continue to relocate business processes including manufacturing, IT, customer service, support services and other operations from one country to another. Extrapolation: Taken to an extreme, the shifting notion of “away” could contribute to xenophobia and insularity, with implications for immigration and diversity. There are indications of trends of increasing nationalism as resources become scarcer or are perceived to be scarce (World Economic Forum, 2012). 37

TREND: RECLAIM INDUSTRIAL SPACES nl Toronto is seeing dramatic transformations of wide swaths of land including the waterfront and portlands as it begins to revitalize and reclaim industrial spaces. A need to reduce urban sprawl and increase the density of Toronto requires existing communities to grow where public utilities such as sewers and water pipes already exist. This includes reclaiming older buildings and re-developing abandoned industrial lands. The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is the largest urban redevelopment project currently underway in North America, and one of the largest waterfront revitalization efforts in the world. Projects for reclaiming industrial space are largely pushed forward by the Provincial and municipal governments who are required to meet employment and conservation targets set out in policy. In addition, Initiatives that reclaim industrial space will also conserve industrial heritage, while revitalizing obsolete districts, maintaining a non-residential tax base, and supporting sustainability objectives. Signals: With a fixed boundary around Toronto, the city can’t grow any wider around the edges. However, Toronto proper is forecast to grow by about half a million people over the next 30 years. City planners recently proposed that Toronto could help curb sprawl by welcoming more growth in compact, livable urban renewal projects. The challenge will be to design communities to accommodate more people without rampant urban sprawl and to protect nature for future generations (Federation of Ontario Naturalists, 2001). At the lakeshore, brownfield reclamation efforts are underway. For example, almost the entire Don watershed has been urbanized but work is underway (as part of Toronto’s Pan Am Games development) to ensure the naturalization of the mouth of the Don River to order to restore the natural heritage features and reclaim vacant industrial lands for parkland and new neighbourhoods (Toronto and Region Conservation for the Living City, 2012). From the reclaiming of brownfields to new public spaces and green-inspired buildings, Waterfront Toronto’s vision is one of the boldest of its kind (Matteo, 2011). The 30-year, $1.9 billion redevelopment plan to redevelop the Port Lands is one of the world’s biggest urban projects and will include 8,700 new housing units as well as commercial space and parkland (Micallef, 2012). 38

Implications: Environmental benefits of identifying and rehabilitating obsolete industrial sites are celebrated as a strategy with broad benefits. Creative re-use like in Toronto’s Distillery District can also revitalizes obsolete districts, create tourism opportunities, maintain a non-residential tax base and conserve industrial heritage. Extrapolation: Creates increasing opportunity for pollution abatement, green roof technology and/or alternative energy production.

"Redevelopment of large industrial sites, including brownfield sites, should receive special attention to achieve high standards of pollution abatement, green roof technology and/or alternative energy production, such as co generation, hydrogen energy or renewable energy." - Faria, K., 2011 39 Â

TREND: I’M WALKIN’ nl Toronto will see changes as walkable lifestyles are becoming increasing common, and efforts are made to improve mobility of individuals within neighbourhoods.

There is a growing culture of walking in the city of Toronto. Annual walking-­‐focused events and conferences are hosted in the city, and the topic of walking in Toronto is widely covered in local blogs and news. The City of Toronto has already iden-fied an increase in the walkability of its city as a key strategy in reaching greenhouse gas reduc-ons targets and increasing public health. A strategic plan is currently being implemented to grow the culture of walking in the city as well as provide the required infrastructure for this trend to succeed. Other factors which are pushing the city towards the direc-on of greater walkability include the crea-on of higher density neighbourhoods and a general decrease in car ownership. Signals: The City of Toronto has commijed to implemen-ng a strategic plan that will increase walkability of the city. The plan promotes a culture of walking and creates streets for pedestrians. The plan will be fully implemented by the year 2018 (City of Toronto, 2007). Walking is a social value in some neighbourhoods, and many Torontonians celebrate urban ac-vists who promote walking in their city. For example, Jane Jacob’s annual walks have grown in popularity since their incep-on in 2007 (Jane’s Walk, n.d.). Increasing, neighbourhoods host their own walking celebra-ons, including events like Toronto’s lost river walks, and the 4th Annual WALKfest in Riversides. Toronto recently hosted the Interna-onal Conference on Walking and Livable Communi-es in 2007 ( As the Toronto popula-on ages, there is evidence most who want to “age in place” will expect the services they have become accustomed to will con-nue to be available to them (Bramham, 2011). A growing trend in car sharing services is replacing tradi-onal car ownership. Without regular access to a vehicle, walking is increasing in importance ( 40

Im walkin Climate change has resulted in unpredictable weather for Southern Ontario. However, milder temperatures create increasingly favourable conditions for walking throughout the year (MacIver et. al). Counter Trends: The rising instance of gun violence in Toronto could minimize the impact of the walkability trend. Implications: With increased foot traffic, there is a possibility of a resurgence of the ‘main street’ within neighbourhoods, with benefits for local store owners and service providers. Increased walkability can have substantial benefits for aging seniors and those with mobility challenges who do not want to move from their commnities as their needs change. Extrapolation: Increasing walkability could inspire or generate local cultural hubs and “3rd spaces” where locals can connect and build community. Increased neighbourhood safety may be an offshoot of additional ground-level, local activity on city streets. 41

TREND: SMALL BUT MIGHTY #$ Toronto will see an increase in small and independent business over the next 5 – 10 years. This economic trend will define much of where jobs and prosperity is generated in the coming decade or two. Following a significant decrease in the number of jobs in Canada, Torontonians have redirected their attention towards self-employment and entrepreneurship. The increase in small businesses in Toronto results from a shift in career expectations for those entering the workforce, as well as an increase in education, networks and business support programs. Signals: 2008 saw a steep increase in unemployment. Currently, the rate of unemployment remains high above the rate seen in 2007. Torontonians have responded by turning to self-employment (Statistics Canada, 2012). Without employment options created by traditional employers, many people will seek to create their own employment to survive, or leave. With high rates of unemployment continuing, young adults today cannot expect the stability or opportunity experienced by previous generations. Entrepreneurship provides the opportunity for greater earning potential and freedom. The federal government as well as numerous non-governmental agencies have increased support for small business owners by providing loans at low interest rates, networking opportunities, and educational resources. Among these include naming 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur (CFIB-FCEI, n.d.). The number of self-employed workers in Canada rose at an annualized rate of 1.5 percent between 2000 and 2007 according to Statistics Canada's 2007 Labour Force Survey (Statistics Canada, 2008). "Over 30 per cent of Canadians now either run or work for a small business with fewer than 50 employees and we are seeing that number increase every year.â€? Michelle Field,Vice President, Business Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal (in a BMO Financial Group Press Release, October 2005). Implications: Small businesses have the potential to employ neighbours locally. Locally owned businesses depend on customer loyalty, which may increase responsible business practices to gain neighbourhood support. Independent businesses can become local hubs by supporting similar local entrepreneurs, artisans and political campaigns. This can contribute to neighbourhood identity or culture. Extrapolations: Cities provide a large local population which contributes to a strong employee base and good market opportunities. There will be a need for Toronto to increase the reliability of public transportation for commuters into the downtown core or ensure affordable housing within the city. 42 Â

TREND: RISE OF CITY-STATES lL Cities lead the way in responding to emerging challenges by taking positions, exploring innovative solutions, updating policies, and advocating for shifts at other levels of government. Many have begun by-passing their regional and national governments to negotiate directly with counterparts on the world stage. The political trend is shaping the way citizens engage with their community and form governments. City governments are often more nimble than their territorial or national counterparts, meaning they can respond more quickly to new and anticipated realities. Urban governments are often able to integrate new trends and emerging issues into existing departmental responsibilities, making policy realignment quicker than at other levels of government. Many cities lobby higher levels of government for action. As pressures from climate change, aging populations, migrations and urbanization increase, city governments will lead on additional policy issues. With increasing distributed everything, the power of cities will increase. Cities will build political and trade networks that by-pass territorial and national governments. City to city negotiations and networks will increase and strengthen. Signals: This is a strengthening trend. In the past 15 years, cities have led higher governments in recognizing same-sex marriages, updating building codes, addressing transit challenges, and other issues. Signals that this trend is strengthening include the rapid selforganization of municipal governments to address climate change issues. The C40 Climate Leadership Group began in 2005 with 20 large global cities working to mitigate climate change. Seven years later, there are 53 cities from five continents ( Similarly, while the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development was a failure of national governments, it saw substantial progress led by cities side-stepping their federal governments (Carmin, Nadkarni and Rhie, 2012). The power / willingness of urban governments to act is not limited to climate challenges: for example, in September 2012, municipal politicians from across British Columbia announced their intention to lobby Ottawa to decriminalize marijuana (B.C. municipal leaders vote to work toward decriminalizing marijuana. (n.d.)).

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Implications: In the mid-term horizon, outdated zoning by-laws and building codes that limit innovation and reorganization in urban neighbourhoods may be addressed at a local level. Solutions can be home-grown. Municipal politicians may be allies for higher-level policy change. Cities may be more engaged with urban areas around the globe than with their own surrounding regions. Counter Trends: Hung / minority governments seem to be increasing in frequency around the world and across Canada. This is a trend that can interact with city governments, rather than an actual counter trend. Municipal leaders across Canada are increasingly finding themselves in conflict of interest and other legal challenges. This is a another trend that intersects with city power and influence, but is not an actual counter trend. Extrapolation: As urbanization increases over the coming decades, city-states could emerge as a primary organizing unit. Increasing urbanization will create new pressures for cities, which may respond with increasing regionalism and direct competition for talent and resources (including food supplies, water resources, land and taxes) instead of indirectly through higher-level mediators. By contracts, municipalities may band together in self-determination, usurping authority traditionally held by provincial and federal legislators.

City  states Â

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TREND: DOWNTOWN McRETAIL #$ Big box retail is making a move from the suburbs to downtown communities in Toronto.

The retail scene in Toronto will change over the next 5 – 10 years with the introduction of big box stores into downtown neighbourhoods. The city of Toronto has recognized a need for increasing the number of jobs in the city’s core and has ear-marked neighbourhoods for business and retail rather than residential purposes. Smart Centres and other big box retail outlets have jumped at this opportunity to increase their presence. If this trend can fit within the changing environment of decreasing car ownership, they will find a customer base that is seeking an alternative from expensive boutique and convenience stores in the downtown core. Signals: There has been a steady increase in number of big box stores in Toronto and the surrounding GTA since the 1990’s (Jones & Doucet, 2000). The city, anxious about the declining number of jobs in the core and fearing downtown could become a bedroom community if companies continue to set up shop in the suburbs, is beginning to shift zoning. For example, in the traditionally industrial corridor of South Riverdale, City council has insisted upon zero-residential, 100 per cent employment zoning - which is exactly what SmartCentres is offering the neighbourhood, as well (City of Toronto, 2005). Big box stores may have an appeal across socio-economic strata in Toronto, since there are indications Canadians across the spectrum are value shoppers. Preville (2008) points to the mix of stores on the upscale stretch of Bloor in Yorkville as proof. “Our Fifth Avenue has both a Holt Renfrew and a Winners, which is the deepest-discount fashion retailer in North America,” he says. “And wealthy people shop in both places” (Preville, 2008). Implications: Many small retail outlets and “mom and pop shops” struggle to compete with big box stores, so small and medium sized enterprises could suffer from McRetailization in downtown communities. Conversely, competition with smaller, locally owned retailers may create push back from loyal consumers in the area. Increased vehicle traffic must be accommodated with parking spaces, traffic lights and signage, with potential impacts on city infrastructure, including transportation routes, power and other utility grids. Retail locations that people access by car can substantially increase local air pollution, traffic congestion, and traffic safety concerns for areas residents. Extrapolation: There is a clear need to rethink the big box store in the context of walkable communities. This may include providing shuttle buses or integrating the store front into a ‘main street’. Without regular access to a vehicle, shoppers must plan their trips to stores. There will be an increased need for online tools to help with shopping lists or delivery. 45

TREND: THE POWER OF 10 MY Placemaking is a process and philosophy which is being adopted by urban centers that believe in order to keep neighbourhoods vital and prosperous, they need public spaces that are designed with community input. Placemaking recognizes that when it comes to public spaces, the values of “the community is the expert” is critical, a key values-driven trend.

Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, ultimately creating good public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being. People have a sense of ownership in their cities and are more likely to take better care of the common environment and of themselves. Placemaking is a bottom-up approach that empowers and engages people and on the assets and skills of a community instead of relying solely on professional “experts.” Placemaking is a learned skill that is transferred either formally or informally. It identifies and catalyzes local leadership, funding, and other resources. Placemaking revitalizes neighbourhoods and makes them attractive to urbanites. Studies have shown that 65 percent of college-educated young people look, first, for an attractive place to live and, second, for a job. They want to live and work where they feel something connected, challenged, inspired, excited, free and effectual. These are 21st century communities and values. The Power of 10 is a Placemaking concept. The idea is that it's not enough to have just one great place in a neighborhood—you need a number of them to create a truly lively city or town. A great place needs to have at least 10 things to do in it or 10 reasons to be there. These could include a place to sit, art to touch, music to hear, food to purchase, historic information to learn about, and books to read. These 10 great places should also define people's experience of a city, and be dynamic enough to attract a range of user groups, keep people coming back, and continue evolving. Signals: With the economic recession, an already challenged Detroit felt the impact of the struggling auto industry. Currently its population is half of what it was in 1950. “Rebuilding Detroit’s Neighbor-hoods through Placemaking and the Power of 10” (Project for Public Spaces. (n.d.)) is an initiative that offers concrete solutions for neighborhoods that will improve the quality of life. The project leverages the gathering power of food and markets as catalysts for bringing people together, while building public spaces by improving vacant lots, existing parks, or too-wide streets. These public spaces will build a new sense of community and create opportunities for people to come together. 46

Power of 10 In Brno, the Czech Republic, the Vankovka factory was saved from demolition and designated an historic landmark (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. (n.d.).). A NGO was established to promote a community-based vision for the complex which includes a series of industrial halls and loft spaces located adjacent to the historic city center. The NGO sponsored hundreds of events in the space, making temporary improvements to make the spaces usable. Based on the popular support, the city purchased the factory complex. The former factory is now a thriving shopping center and events venue, with shops, cafés, and restau­rants -- a real destination for the city of Brno. Guided by another principle of placemaking - design buildings to support places, Council House 2 in Melbourne, Australia (Council House 2, 2012) enhances the surrounding neighbor­hood. At the ground level, the building is dynamically con­nected to the surrounding neighborhood which creates a strong sense of place. The area around the building is enhanced by shade structures and other amenities, making this a comfortable place and an integral part of the community and creating a friendly, healthy microclimate in its immediate vicinity. Implications: Investing in public spaces that are driven by the involvement of the community drives a sharing, collaborative and inclusive mindset that can affect change and attract new talent. Public markets can increase civic engagement in an era when voter turnout continues to decline. Public markets can be catalysts for bringing diverse populations together and be an opportunity to address economic and social inequities . Architecture that enhances place is accessible and mindful of the community can contribute to the liveliness of an adja­cent neighborhood. Public parks where all people feel safe to play and relax can relieve stress, especially when people live in high density locations. Crime rates and gang ac­tivity go down when more people are out on the street and know their neighbors. If civic institutions are housed in approachable buildings, people feel encouraged to take part in public health programs. Extrapolations: The Placemaking approach and values builds on the ability of local institutions to create great community plac­es that bring people together and reflect community values and needs. Public input and contribution in the design of public spaces aligns with the larger trends of sharing and collaboration. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding of community based projects will drive community projects and activities will evolve.Vital urban centres with well designed, human centred public places will be destinations of choice for young professionals, as well as the creative class. Placemaking identifies and catalyzes local leaders, funding, and other resources. 47

30% of Canadians now either run or work for a small business with fewer than 50 employees and we are seeing that number increase every year.â€? -Michelle Field, Vice President, Business Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal (2005) 48 Â

TREND: I SHARE, YOU SHARE lL The “sharing economy” extends the very old tradition of sharing by integrating community spirit and resources with technology and innovation to build relationships, generate new jobs and income for urban neighborhoods as well as making them more equitable. This trend looks at how a new (and very old) form of economic exchange is changing the way people earn a living. The sharing economy, also known as “collaborative consumption” is rooted in the belief that changing cities to make them better for all citizens can be galvanized by the perception that they are a commons and that neighbourhoods are at its foundation. This value is facilitated by the free flow of resources among citizens aided by the legal framework, the built environment, culture, nonprofits, government, and business. Citizens are free to co-create meaningful and productive lives for each other in a cooperative framework. The growth of the sharing economy has been driven by the success of innovative companies and organizations like City CarShare, ZipCar, RelayRides, Airbnb, Getaround, Taskrabbit, Shareable,Vayable and more. The sharing economy uses technology and social media networks to promote the sharing and re-use of underutilized assets such as cars, bikes, tools, rooms, spaces, skills and other goods. The sharing economy has the potential to support the most vulnerable populations and alleviate wealth disparities. Signals: In May 2012, the city of San Francisco established The Sharing Economy Working Group, the first of its kind in the U.S. The purpose of the working group, "is to take a comprehensive look at the economic benefits, innovative companies and emerging policy issues around the growing 'sharing economy”. The Sharing Economy Working Group will bring together City Departments, neighborhood and community stakeholders and sharing economy companies to explore San Francisco’s existing land-use, planning, tax and other laws that impact or are impacted by collaborative consumption and explore policy alternatives and legislation to modernize those laws and/or address emerging impacts and issues. In November 2012, the first ever Global Sharing Day was celebrated. It was organized by UK-based The People Who Share (, the world's first aggregator of the sharing economy with Spanish partners OuiShare ( and the San Franciso based organization, Shareable ( ). The day inspired millions people in 21 countries to host local sharing events. It's estimate that with including all members of the organisations involved and Facebook fans the event reached 60 million people. 49

In November 2012, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) (, a non-profit community organization in North Seattle announced that it was becoming a Community Sharing Hub as well as creating PNA Village, a community task sharing service specifically suited for its local, senior population. The PNA Village Program empowers people to remain in their homes and neighborhoods while staying active and engaged as they age. PNA has declared 2013 to be a Year of Sharing during which it will encourage community members to join them in celebrating the power of sharing, discovering new ways to get access to the things they need, and even create programs of their own. In 2012, the organization, Shareable ( in partnership with Janelle Orsi of the Sustainable Economies Law Center and Saskia van Gendt ( assumed leadership in developing the Policies for a Shareable City series (http:// that will cover 20 issues that will benefit the community. Implications: To build sharing economies, cities will need to revise and modernize laws to make sharing easy and legal. Potential areas for revision are laws related to land use, planning, taxes and other laws. Governments will also need to explore policy alternatives as well as address emerging impacts and issues. The adoption of collaborative consumption in neighbourhoods needs the commitment and leadership of community groups and civic governments to commit and engage with collaborative consumption as a strategy to make their neighbourhoods and devote their energy and resources to making it a reality. Extrapolations: The laws for many cities regarding zoning, land use and commercial transactions will change to accommodate the sharing economy framework of the 21st century. There will also be new laws recognizing the viability for: shareable housing; commercial spaces; workspaces; shareable recreation and green spaces; shareable tools and skills, park sharing and ride sharing. 50 Â


I’LL TRADE YOU THIS FOR THAT Redistributed markets such as swapping and bartering are becoming more frequently used modes of transactions which in these challenging economic times saves money, promotes recycling and enables the exchange of specialized or unique skills and knowledge that may not have broad market demand but meets a customized need. This new economic trend is illustrating how what is old is new again.

While swapping and bartering of services and items is not new, the practice is now assuming higher prominence which is a reflection of the challenging economic times as well as the growing adoption of a “sharing” ideology. The notion of ownership is undergoing redefinition and the concept of “gently used” no longer has a pejorative context and is instead becoming a new form of transaction which involves more than close friends or neighbours. In addition to “stuff”, people have the opportunity to barter their unique skills and knowledge. Technology is enabling the practice of swapping big ticket items such a homes that expands the practice internationally. Signals: Trade School Toronto ( an alternative learning space that runs on barter recently opened. It is the first of its kind in Canada. Students pay for the class with a barter item (like food, supplies, or help) that their teacher requested. Billed as a way to break down financial barriers and celebrate “the social nature of exchange,” Trade School Toronto was inspired by a barter-for-knowledge group in New York City. Similar organizations have since sprouted in 20 countries around the world. Frugality has become a way of life for a cohort weighed down by student loan debt and high joblessness. In a WSL Strategic Retail survey, 80 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said it was key to get the lowest price on most things they buy, up from 69 percent two years earlier. Swapping goods is another trend, particularly with regards to clothing (/ Clothing swaps are a hot ticket for Americans aged 18 to 34. Millennials attend swap house parties from New York to San Francisco. Swapstyle is the biggest and when established in 2002, was the first clothing swap site. It currently has 55,000 members ( . 51

Those with a big backyard but no time to garden or those eager to garden but unable to find land are connected through programs like Sharing backyards ( that pair gardeners with homeowners willing to share their space. Usually the crops are divided between the gardener and the homeowner at the end of the season. Based in Toronto, in addition to offering an online swapping site, Swapsity also organizes large swap meets in Toronto ( ( In the last year alone, Swapsity events have saved Torontonians a whopping $100,000, recycled 16,000 items and swapped more than 12,500 items. Swap meet themes range from movies and music to book exchanges, from clothing and fashion accessories to Halloween costumes. Implications: There may be continued pressures on retail sector as consumers eliminate “the middle man” and seek to preserve cash and commit to recycling.There may be a need for training and education on accounting for the “tax' implications of bartering. Extrapolations: With a declining visibility of cash and the emergence of the electronic wallet, how will bartering and swapping activities be entrenched as a form of currency in the future? With the growth of transition cities, will communities develop their own bartering and swapping exchanges that assign metrics?


TREND: ARE WE THERE YET? lL The trends in developed economies of decreasing car ownership especially by young adults as well as a decline in the amount of vehicle/kilometers driven indicates that the romance with cars maybe reaching a saturation point which is referred to as “peak car”. In developed economies owning and driving a car, especially for young adults is not a priority. They value access over ownership. They are choosing to eschew car ownership because: many are burdened with school debt and have uncertain job prospects; they live in urban centres where their work, entertainment, and social interests are easily accessible by alterna-ve transporta-on modes and car sharing opportuni-es such as Zipcar are readily available which provides the same solu-on but removes the costs associated with car ownership. This trend challenges the sustainability of the tradi-onal auto sector as well as genera-on of gas tax revenues earned by government that support infrastructure needs. This trend explores the changing nature of consumer transporta-on economics. Signals: Lower vehicles sales to young adults -­‐ In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985. (hjp://­‐cheapest-­‐ genera-on/309060/). There is an increasing sense that cars aren’t cool. A global survey of teen autudes by TNS, a consultancy, found that young people increasingly view cars as appliances not aspira-ons, and say that social media give them the access to their world that would once have been associated with cars. KCR, a research firm, has found that in America far more 18-­‐ to 34-­‐year-­‐olds than any other age group say socializing online is a subs-tute for some car trips. ( According to the the think tank , the Fron-er Group, from 2001 to 2009, 16-­‐ to 34-­‐year-­‐olds in American households with incomes over $70,000 increased their public-­‐transport use by 100%. (hjp:// In a KRC Zipcar survey, 16 percent of 18 to 34-­‐year-­‐olds polled said they strongly agreed with the statement, “I want to protect the environment, so I drive less.” This is compared to approximately 9 percent of older genera-ons. According to a recent study by the Na-onal Associa-on for Realtors, young people are the genera-on most likely to prefer to live in an area characterized by nearby shopping, restaurants, schools, and public transporta-on as opposed to sprawl. 53

Implications: Car manufacturers will need to find new markets. Jobs for blue collar workers who work in the car manufacturing sector or in related industries will be under threat. Changes in driving habits may force governments to rethink infrastructure programs and policies which may include boosting taxes. Cities that depend on parking fees, fines and road tolls may need to find other ways to balance the books. Local governments will have to priorize investments on public transportation, bike lanes, sidewalks, other transportation alternatives. Government officials will need to ensure that land use and transportation policies are aligned to walkable communities. Extrapolations: Smartphones compete against cars for young people’s big-ticket dollars, since the cost of a good phone and data plan can exceed $1,000 a year. Will digital devices continue to represent the social cachet that cars used to? Will there be other products/services that will displace the personal electronic devices which will attract consumer spending ? Countertrends: There are now more than 1 billion cars in the world, and the number is likely to roughly double by 2020. They are cheaper, faster, safer and more comfortable than ever before. People in Asia, Latin America and Africa are buying cars pretty much as fast as they can afford to, and as more can afford to, more will buy. But as employment increases among youths and in the broader population, cost-related barriers linked to car use could disappear and driving rates could spike to all-time highs. The Federal Highway Administration predicts that the total number of VMT in the United States will go up again once the economy makes a stronger recovery 54

TREND: THIRD SPACE MY Work and Home are not the only places necessary within a neighbourhood – a third space for congregation, collaboration, discussion and leisure is required for a healthy community. Cafes, bars, clubs, and parks provide these ‘third spaces.’

The concept of the Third Space was first proposed by urban planner and sociologist Ray Oldenberg (1989) as reference to those spaces in a community that serve as an ‘anchor’ and foster interaction between people who live within it. As the urban environment in Toronto becomes more densely populated the cost of housing and commercial space increases along with demands for space. This puts considerable pressure on small businesses and solo enterprises seeking to make a living in Canada’s largest metropolitan centre who strive to be close to where others are, yet keep costs low. Another trend is the proliferation of coffee houses -- both from the major chains and independents -- in the city of Toronto, which often serve as a third space. Signals: Among the most popular and prevalent ‘third space’ venues are coffee shops and cafes. Tim Hortons and Starbucks have proliferated throughout the city along with a thriving independent coffee scene. Between 2008 and 2010 more than 100 independent coffee shops opened in Toronto and while this may not be a sustainable level of growth, it indicates the need for and interest in ‘third space’ places to gather (Sax, 2012). Rejuvenation and investment in public spaces is another signal of change. Toronto’s Waterfront development plan, including the Portlands projects all feature elaborate green-space and public walking areas (Waterfront Toronto, 2012). The vision for the Waterfront is to centre living around common spaces by specifically building parks, commercial / retail centres, and walkable developments. This movement to making living spaces hospitable to people (and dogs) is as much about property values as it is livability.

Third spaces require accessibility, regardless of the means. Third spaces are familiar, generally close to home, and areas where diverse members of a community can interact. For this reason, cafes and bars are often ideal third spaces. Another trend was towards the ongoing push for street food, through food trucks and carts or availability of street-inspired items on conventional menus (Suen, 2012). This is part of a greater trend to provide greater food choices in terms of style, taste, and convenience. 55

Implications Opportunities for small business to both serve as the third place through operating a cafe, bar or restaurant. Further opportunities to serve the business needs of those using third spaces to grow their own businesses. Zoning that permits small businesses to operate out of conventional and unconventional spaces such as backyards and storefronts will be needed to create the necessary spaces for people to congregate. Extrapolations How much caffeine can one neighbourhood consume? There is the possibility that the desire to create third spaces will detract from the first and second spaces as people become more flexible in their work and social spaces. Â


100 151 83

Tim Hortons in Toronto

Starbucks in Toronto

independent cafes have opened in Toronto since 2008

Second Cups in Toronto 56 Â

TREND: TORONTO GROWN TASTES lL Increased interest in locally produced and sourced, preferably ethically products. People ask where things are produced, seek out venues where such products are available and hold such local. Tied to the artisanal and craft movement.

Signals: Across North America and Europe there has been a rising food movement looking at towards emphasizing local cuisine. Media focused on food culture and local eating via television, web (incl. apps) and print (books, and magazines) has swelled in the past 10 years (e.g., Palassio, C., & Wilcox, A., 2009). Coupled with a poor economy and pressures to prepare one’s own food to save money and time, has resulted in local food not only being considered ‘cool’, but also something economically viable (Oliver, 2009). Local food production and the culture it creates in society has been identified as a place to intervene in the system by public health researchers to address present and future problems associated with a rise in obesity among the population, climate change, and widespread food insecurity (Malhi et al., 2009). Toronto currently has 28 local farmers markets (incl. St. Lawrence market) in operation, many of them in the downtown core where there have been until recently few options to purchase fresh produce and the interest continues to grow with recent markets added to the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the Hospital for Sick Children. The popularity of gardening as a means of educating youth about food systems and ecological literacy (Capra, 2002;Youth Voices Research Group, 2007) demonstrated locally by programs such as Green Thumbs/Growing Kids and the balcony gardens projects (Cooke, 2008). Implications: Local food can change the nature of conversation from eating to systems. Indeed, food is an ideal vehicle for enhancing systems thinking and awareness of the environment in which food is produced, consumed, marketed, and disposed of that can have positive effects on environmental awareness and community stewardship (Stone & Barlow, 2005;Youth Voices Research Group, 2007). This awareness of food systems may also increase attention to health issues, creating positive lifestyle and mental health benefits. Extrapolation: Gardens are regular features on balconies and rooftops as well as in low-rise backyards and public spaces. Locally grown food is common within both farmers markets and traditional food retailers. Traditional mass market and small restaurants will also emphasize and serve a high percentage of menu items made from locally sourced ingredients as well as feature items that were once traditional foods with greater frequency (e.g., pickerel, venison, wild boar). 57

TREND: DIY NEIGHBOURHOOD #$ A new arts and crafts movement led by locally owned and sourced product offerings typify the trend towards greater interest, capacity and opportunity for do-it-yourself (DIY) artisanal entrepreneurs to succeed as consumers look for more unique, ethical, and higher-quality products made by themselves or others in their neighbourhood. Signals: The maker movement has gone quickly from a fringe to mainstream in recent years. Chefs like Jamie Oliver are writing about the ‘pass it on’ phenomenon focused on sharing recipes to encourage more home food making (Oliver, 2008), while detailed explorations of Maker Culture are featured prominently in cover stories on Wired magazine (Anderson, 2012) and radio programs (Young, 2012). Etsy, the craft and DIY commerce hub is now a major online retailing platform that is taking business from established market leaders (Walker, 2012). In the digital realm, creation tools such as free design tools for tablets (e.g., Morpholio) or laptops (e.g., Google Sketch-up) are allowing anyone with ideas to lay the graphical foundation for creating professional grade products without formal training. Combined with 3-D printing technology and soon it will be possible manufacture a wide array of consumer goods, custom-to-order through downloading digital plans in a person’s home workshop. 3-D printing is already being done in Canada (e.g., and full operational printers are available for less than $3000 ( Canadian economic policy, particularly in Ontario, has been driven by resources and manufacturing. While Canada’s resource economy remains strong and is expected to lead growth over the next 40 years among the G7.Yet, this growth is resource based and tied heavily to commodity and energy prices. Manufacturing has been decreasing as a percentage of GDP for decades (now down to 11%) (Manyika, Sinclair, Dobbs et al., 2012), yet has the opportunity to rebound with even a small move towards locally-made products, particularly if consumption patterns are reduced overall due to environmental and economic concerns. The way home-made, artisanal, or small-batch products are marketed and distributed has also changed and continues to become more professional. Small, local craft fairs still exist, but with web retail portals such as Etsy (, Madeitmyself http:// and iCraft ( independent crafters and artists have a ready-made, global market for their products. An observed rise in the physical, event-based arts and crafts shows, farmers markets (City of Toronto, 2012), craft breweries (Metro News, 2012) and the popularity of the One of A Kind Show in Toronto are further demonstrations that home-made goods are popular with the public. 58

China: 33% - Manufacturing as a % of GDP (2010) Canada: 11% - Manufacturing as a % of GDP (2010) - McKinsey Global Institute, 2012 Implications: A significant shift in commerce from large companies selling foreign-made products to greater local production also shifts the waste burden back to Canada. Currently, the waste generated from consumer production is largely absorbed by countries such as China, India, and Bangladesh. Conversely, the production market at home may create or expand markets for Canadian companies in supplying raw materials to and further reduce Canada’s reliance on foreign goods / decrease in trade imbalance with China, India. Small business development will also create new markets for small business suppliers and services (e.g., legal, accounting, marketing, storage, transportation). Extrapolation: Artisanal productions brings with it multiple benefits for the economy


TREND: HOME IS WHERE THE WORK IS (DONE – OR NEAR) #$ Work is being performed closer to home in response to more people working independently, the high costs associated with commuting (financial, time, stress) and the reduction in overall barriers to connecting (e.g., mobile information technologies, broadband/wireless Internet availability, knowledgedriven work). New configurations of work from solo home offices to co-working spaces represent these trends. Signals: The shift away from large-scale manufacturing towards a knowledge economy and a more specialized one at that has created a fertile market for consultants and small businesses. Large scale cuts at the corporate, federal and provincial government levels have created a substantive pool of labour that is working independently or in small groups. This has changed the way much of the work is performed by parts of the labour market. Increasing energy prices, a rapid expansion of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in occupied space and population, coupled with the inability of road infrastructure to expand capacity due to physical restrictions has created persistent congestion and frequent gridlock in traffic, making commuting by car prohibitive. At the same time, a lagging investment in transportation infrastructure for the GTA has meant that transit or commuting rail or bus is not always a suitable alternative to the car. Coupled further with increased capacity for high bandwidth Internet connections and the availability of low cost tools to work remotely, has increased the attractiveness of telecommuting. The emergence of co-working spaces such as the Centre for Social Innovation, CO:WORK, and ING Direct’s ORANGE space are examples of new models where physical infrastructure costs are shared among many enterprises simultaneously under one roof. This has allowed entrepreneurs who may be living in sub-standard housing (for business purposes) to have access to space that is suitable for running a business, particularly considering that Toronto’s current vacancy rate is at 1.7% and the market for purchasing property is high and the need to provide space that is conducive to work and social life is equally high ( Globe and Mail, 2012). 60

Efficient, effective, widely available and affordable voice and video transmission tools (e.g., Skype). Powerful mobile computing and telecommunications tools . Low-no cost software . paperless office becoming closer to reality . Greater coffee shop ‘third space’ availability. innovation communities established across Canada Implications: Less or different demands on the transit system. Potential reduction in childcare costs Internet and telecommunications infrastructure becomes critical BIA’s increase potential membership and role in civic life. tension between ‘home’ life and ‘work’ life at home Extrapolation: The nature of work will change and so will the relationships that form because of work.




IDENTIFIED DRIVERS & PREDETERMINED ELEMENTS THOSE THAT ARE FAIRLY CERTAIN TO MATERIALIZE GIVEN THEY ARE ALREADY IN THE PIPELINE INCLUDE: seniors aging, failing infrastructure, mixedused zoning, steady proliferation of social networking applications, availability of information and mobile technologies, implications of conservative public policies, increasing oil prices, increasing extremes in weather events 63 Â


UNCERTAINTIES Building a Four Scenario Matrix Strategies were developed using a 2x2 matrix to aid in exploring possible futures through the lens of two potential polar realities. This was an iterative process with ideas being generated, refined, and reconfigured or discarded as new information emerged from more in-depth research. The first iteration used connectivity and the changing nature of work as the axes. The North/South poles were “community as shared space”, “community as shared ideas”. The East/West poles were “low skills gap, high skills gap”. We determined that the axes were too closely aligned (not independent enough) to generate diverse scenarios. After making adjustments based on trying the initial axes, two new ones were put forth and paired that managed to suit the conditions appropriately and provide sufficient creative space to explore possible futures. The two axes used are: citizen participation ( “individualistic/collective”) and drivers of decision making (“diffuse or decentralized power/concentrated control”). The characteristics of each quadrant has provided a landscape where meaningful, yet provocative narratives could be developed that would challenge current assumptions and frameworks and set a vivid vision of different futures that could be used to test and explore strategies for action. 65















1. Economy of Scale

Federation X: The relative lack of diversity within the service sector and the strong civil society presence for the basics (education, primary care) means that Foundation X has the ability to focus its efforts on filling systemic gaps. New immigrant families; These families are pleased with having the safety and security that they might not have had at home, however for many from developing economies such as the global leader, China, there is a sense of diminished expectations as this new country of theirs (Canada) is much less exciting than their homeland, and far less prosperous. The overall concentration of wealth is so high that there are few who do well, unlike in China or India or Africa where entrepreneurship flourishes, and most ‘get by’. Small business owners: SME’s struggle and provide among the few spaces for innovation, although the barriers to getting something to the market are high because of bureaucratic red tape and the fact that large, big-box stores have such pricing advantages on larger goods and 3-D printing is producing so many small goods. Crafts, DIY goods and bespoke, handmade goods still have much attraction, but the market is still relatively small, particularly because of the overall depression in the economy (many people make their own goods and do not need to join the market). The scramble to find a market for goods has made this the most innovative sector in the economy, although the systemic barriers to growth means that it is difficult to scale businesses. Inventions that are highly promising are bought up early by the large, oligarchic market players who seek to either eliminate potential new entrants or gain the few competitive advantages left. For a small number of technological innovators, there is much money to be made like in the silicon heydays of the late 1990s and the early 2010’s, yet unlike then, the number of actualized inventions is relatively low. Generation Y: The generation that was told that they could do anything, be anything and change the world has come to realize little of that promise. Unfocused, yet well-educated, this once ideal-seeking generation has been hurt repeatedly by a world that was not in sync with their dreams and aspirations. Some of the biggest innovators of the generation such as Mark Zuckerberg lost most of their influence as their business models eventually crumbled under an economy that stopped funding ‘wild ideas’ and looked to consolidate investment in more conservative choices. Although the massive retirement of seniors has opened up job opportunities, many of the jobs that Generation Boom once had are being phased out or eliminated as they are no longer relevant. That has left a relatively small set of employment options that are being taken up by the Millennial generation as they come into the workforce. 69

Seniors: The Baby Boomers have retired from their first careers, taken up second career part-time jobs and are now finally at an age where they are no longer interested (and mostly able) to do labour of any kind beyond that for personal recreation. Once the majority of Baby Boomers reached 70, the range of activities and earning potential had diminished enough that work was not an option for many. This has posed a number of challenges as it opened up many jobs, however the sudden loss of thousands of worker also led to the loss of knowledge about how many jobs functioned. This organizational knowledge left many companies, firms and agencies struggling to adapt with a large turnover in expertise, skill and changes in work style. As many Boomers reach ages where their mobility decreases, the overall focus for communities has shifted towards catering to small ‘villages’ within cities. The Boomer generation grew up and retained most of its entitlements, yet now contributes little to the economy besides providing adult care jobs. Property Developers: Developers once were plentiful and sought to flood the market with cheap, fast-built, good looking, but structurally weak buildings. The rapid deterioration of the glass towers due to both poor construction and an inability to resist the transitional nature of their residents (as they were largely rentals because few could afford to either buy them or house anything more than 2-3 people). Now, developers are highly regulated and there are few of them. Buildings are made to strict codes, although they remain expensive and inaccessible to many. Property owners: Those that managed to acquire and retain a home -- most likely a condo - in Toronto through the early part of 2010’s are stuck with property that is not increasing in value with inflation, but is not decreasing if it was built appropriately. Thousands of homeowners are stuck with condos that are worth much less than their original cost due to their excessive monthly fees that are used to pay for the tower renewals of the glass-walled variety. Many early investors in these condos lost their money or fled to neighbourhoods that, ironically, were once the poor communities that no one wanted to live in. Rent controls are instituted. Renters: It is a renters market. Rent controls have made renting barely affordable, although there was little choice to make caps on rent given that there is such a variety of living conditions with so many of the early condos of the 2010’s building boom falling apart. 70

2. The Commonists

In this world, neighbourhoods operate as self-determined “villagesâ€? where residents are engaged in building and sustaining the community through the collaborating and sharing of ideas as well as knowledge. There are many opportunities to be creative and innovative. They make decisions collectively. The neighbourhoods value diversity and are inclusive. They have learned from the economic depression of 2008-2010 that governments are not able to create jobs and that financial institutions are unwilling or unable to support small businesses. Many new projects or policy decisions are made by community based committees with members being elected by the residents. Public space plays an important role in these neighbourhoods not only as centres of community interaction but also as factor in attracting new talent. The neighbourhoods have worked actively to take advantage of mixed use zoning which has led to the emergence of many cowork spaces, living labs, industrial kitchens and live/work residences. Commerce takes many forms including bartering, swapping and crowdfunding. In addition, there is a community currency which promotes and support local activities. Federation X: The collaborative and sharing values of this world means that Federation X has met its soulmate. Residents are engaged and are active participants in the projects and services that impact the community. Community projects would include new building development as well as public spaces. Crowdsourcing would be used to gather opinions and suggestions from all residents. Crowdfunding campaigns would contribute to the financing of projects. In this world, Federation X could form relationships and partnerships to fill the inequity gaps in the community. New immigrant families: In this world, new immigrants families of modest means have the opportunity to be an active participant in the community. There would be opportunities to show and share their special talents to establish their own means to generate income and even barter their knowledge with other members of the community. Through community urban agriculture programs, they could grow produce for their families and form relationships. Acquiring language skills or learning about community issues would be readily accessible. Social services help would also be provided by the community.There would be many opportunities to generate income from their live/work space or neighbourhood coworking centre. Small business owners: There would be a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners to start and grow their companies. They have worked hard at building their social network and know that understanding reputation and influence is critical to their success. Crowdfunding platforms enable them to raise financing for their ideas.Contributors to the campaigns are by extension their first customers and a powerful distribution channel. This type of financing vehicle has filled a gap that banks and venture capitalists were in the past not willing or disinterested in filling. They are also able to mitigate risk by locating in cowork facilities where they are able to manage costs and also position themselves to exchange information and ideas with others. 71 Â

Generation Y: For those members of Generation Y who are in their peak earning years and who have the skills and knowledge to be creative and innovative, this is a period of great opportunity. These people have been continually re-skilling and have some foresight on where the opportunities could be found. They collaborate on projects in the local coworking centre and through the power and access of digital interconnectivity consider the world as their market. They have worked hard at building their social network and have identified those people of good reputation and influence that could help them to make their business successful. They also appreciate the benefits of attractive public spaces not only for the vitality of the community but also as a critical factor to attract and retain talent. Seniors: While some seniors have retired and are spending time on their hobbies, travelling or spending time with family members and grandchildren, there are many others who are still interested in sharing their skills and knowledge. They are active in the local Business Improvement Association and other citizen committees and offer their advice and guidance to local businesses and community groups. They may work part-time at the local co-work space to pursue a new idea and may be collaborating with others in their neighbourhood or others located in other parts of the world. For those with health and mobility issues, the neighbourhood offers the services to provide help reliably and in a timely fashion. The elderly can find comfort in knowing that there will be someone available to help and that their community is safe. Property Developers: With the presence of mixed used zoning, property developers are actively engaged in working with municipal design committee, community groups and urban planners to accommodate for public housing on new projects that involve refurbishing buildings or developing new projects. Public space is a critical component to development. Developers regularly conduct crowdsourced campaigns to the community to win approval of new project ideas or to get feedback on new project proposals. They work with municipalities to develop incentivized programs that will facilitate new project development as well as enable them to make a profit. Property owners: With healthy employment levels, robust business growth with the expansion of mixed use zoning property owners are confident that their property values are at least stable if not increasing. The community is vibrant and is attractive to new talent. However, for those residents who are living in an area which is becoming a destination place that offers restaurants, clubs and entertainment there is the risk that the additional noise, traffic congestion, garbage and presence of undesirables, their home values may suffer. Renters: For renters, there is much more choice on how and where they choose to live. They may take advantage of the tax breaks of a live/work space. For young adults, the community would offer the opportunity to identify ways to collaborate and contribute new knowledge. 72 Â

3. Wild West

This is a world characterized by individuality and decentralized power and decision-making. There is a high instance of privatization, small government, minimal regulations and high value placed on personal freedom. As a result there is a growing informal economy, a serious drain on common resources, and feelings of insecurity among residents. In this world, government services play a much smaller role. Where possible, services have been privatized. Therefore, the safety net for those in need has become much smaller and Federation X now plays an important role in helping build pathways out of poverty for people in Toronto. There is a medium sized swell in population which represents the children of the baby boomers. These are adults who experienced the Great Recession in the early years of their careers and as a result have become highly trained in anticipation of mass exodus of retirees from the workforce. However, many years spent in low paying positions have resulted in them starting families, buying property and saving for retirement much later than previous generations. Increasing deregulation and improving technologies have made it possible more people to receive specialized education through online diploma and accreditation programs. Curriculum has become highly individualized and available through decentralized forums. From grade school to adult education, courses rely heavily on video, online games and independent learning to supplement little inperson instruction. 3D printers have also become an important tool for in-class learning. With a high value on personal freedom and individuality, environmental spaces in the city have not been well maintained. As a result, in neighbourhoods where residents value green-space privatized parks have become available. Memberships to playgrounds, dog parks and community gardens meet the need for community space that does not put an added expense on the municipality. Some neighbourhoods have also outsourced their security by adopting a gated community model with security guards either at the front desk of a building or gatehouse. Since social assistance had become increasingly minimal, record numbers of people now live on the streets of Toronto. Pairing the visual of increasing desperation with little information from the new micro-census, Torontonians have adopted an opinion of increased crime, which is largely based on perception and not statistics. 73 Â

This world has seen a high level of privatization and entrepreneurship. A large informal economy has developed in Toronto, consisting of pop-up kiosks as well as at-home businesses. Unfortunately this also includes a thriving underground or black market for organized crime. The lakeshore of Toronto is lined with glass condos built during1995 – 2015. However builders had been rushed to meet the demand of an increasingly dense Toronto and failed to make the buildings truly sustainable. In 2020 the condos experienced severe structural failures and decreased significantly in value. The once luxury housing has now become affordable housing, although remains inefficient and often even dangerous. New Canadians have the option to shop at grocery stores, boutiques and restaurants specific to their culture, but often come up against intolerance outside their neighbourhood. Federation X: In this world, government services play a much smaller role. Where possible, services have been privatized. Therefore, Federation X now plays an important role in helping build pathways out of poverty for people in Toronto. There is a high need for the services of Federation X and therefore high participation rates, greater public recognition and a clear leadership role in the city. However there are a fewer number of government grants available and therefore the organization is financed mainly from private donations. In this world, Federation X is transitioning towards a social enterprise model. New immigrant families: In this world, new Canadians benefit from low barriers to individualized language training. There is also access to specialized services based on cultural needs. Neighbourhoods are distinctly cultural and allow for connection – however this can be isolating at times. Technology allows for easy connection with family members abroad. New Canadians often take part in the informal economy, either through catering and childcare businesses run out of their homes, or setting up pop-up boutiques in the market district. Small business owners: Organized crime as a form of small (yet illegal) business are also winners in this world. Few restrictions and regulations are placed over business owners. There are few barriers to entering business and with increasing privatization, many small and independent businesses have found success in Toronto. Small business owners are winners in this world, specifically those who focus on serving the aging baby boomers (healthcare, manufacturing of surgical tools, plastic surgery, and assisted living).

74 Â

Generation Y: In some cases as the babyboomers have retired, Generation Y has been able to fill high level positions in the workforce. They have also been able to take advantage of the number of single family homes that went on the market as elderly people decided to downsize to apartments, bungalows and condos. However, many members of Generation Y are also responsible for caring and supporting their older family members. The cost in time and monetary expense for care is high for a family. There are few government supported or low cost options for the elderly to support themselves. Seniors: Seniors value ‘aging in place’, and maintaining their freedom. Seniors are not clear winners in this world – their old age is expensive and largely not publicly funded. They are a population clearly divided into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. The elderly rely largely on having accumulated wealth throughout their lives, or otherwise maintained familial relationships to support them as they age. Property owners: Entrepreneurship as a value is clear and many property owners take the opportunity to rent out their homes, parking spaces and extra rooms. Owners of condos in Toronto have had mixed success. The once high-end glass towers at the lakefront have required expensive structural upgrades while the concrete buildings of the 1960s and 1980s have a much greater lifespan. Those who have invested in the glass towers have seen little if any return on their investment. Renters: The once luxury glass towers on Toronto’s lakefront have decreased significantly in value and quality since their construction, making them affordable housing for low-income earners. While neighbourhoods have typically organized themselves along cultural lines, such towers provide a vertical neighbourhood which only increases in added isolation to the experience of new or marginalized Canadians. There is a low sense of community and general sense of mistrust for the unknown and different neighbour.


4. The Privateers

This is a world of centralized ownership and individual interests. The rising tide that was supposed to lift all ships from austerity favoured yachts over those in lifeboats. Forces that drove the have’s and have not’s apart accelerated, leaving throngs of people newly homeless, marginally housed and unemployed. Corporate monopolies and oligopolies control resources in most sectors, from water and sewage to collective knowledge – there is a lot of money to be made in the right business. Control in 2030 is retained in central government, but follows a ruling-by-referendum pattern. Critics argue this system is an abdication of authority while maintaining an appearance of accountability. And the frequent referendums rarely result in decisions that support vulnerable people. After a period of total access to information, misinformation crept in as governments and corporations increasingly influenced messaging. Individuals gained tools to hack and game systems, wreaking havoc on markets and smart grids. Both accelerated a general mistrust of information. A detailed Canadian census was reinstated and began collecting national data in 2021, but an eleven-year data gap (dubbed the Dark Ages by some) was difficult to overcome. Corporations filled the gaps with big data collection and analysis. Many glass walled condominiums thrown up in the city from 1995-2015 are in decay (include reference). Many former condo owners moved to larger, more stable concrete towers. Those buildings revitalized with public money in the 2010’s (include reference) are most desirable since they were retrofitted and infilled for livability. In that era of tower renewal, most units were occupied by lower income earners who had no equity in their apartments. They did not benefit from wealth generated by these improvements, and most were easily displaced. Not all those who owned glass condos fared well. For many, condo ownership represented all their capital and most of their debt. As their condo units dropped out of the middle class, so did many of these owners. Federation X: Many people in Toronto’s diverse communities have been left behind by a disappearing social safety net, increasing individualism and high privatization of services. Since much of Toronto’s social service infrastructure has been geographically based, the rapid physical relocation of communities poses a challenge to service delivery and strategy implementation. Investing in agile, modular responses represents an opportunity for Federation X. Focusing early on ways to include low-income renters in the wealth generated through tower renewal upgrades can buffer against mass displacement. 76

New immigrant families: Since skilled workers in most roles can work remotely from anywhere, there is decreased work-related immigration to Toronto. With limited opportunities for small business development and a dwindling middle class, Toronto has fallen out of favour as a destination for immigrants from outside Canada. Urbanization continues, however, and most new immigrants are relocating from smaller centres and rural communities. Small business owners: Small independent businesses have a hard time making do in this world, and many operate as franchises of large corporations. Large private interests own and manage most resources, including collecting sewage for fertilizer, managing freshwater resources, producing food and harnessing energy. For example, toll paths may be the quickest routes around downtown Toronto for those willing to have their kinetic energy harnessed through smart sidewalk technologies. When the federal government led a divestment of data collection and research (reference) in the 2010’s, businesses with access to big data eagerly filled the gaps. Data is now managed by private interests, and made available for a price. Even knowledge previously held in the commons is privately owned: books, reference materials and entertainment all operate under corporate ownership with pay-per-use charges. Materials with low demand or controversial theories are not circulated (reference), discouraging artists and creatives from producing new original material. Generation Y: A small percentage of Generation Y’ers have leveraged the assets they received from parents and grandparents into affluent lives. They are the “have’s” of the current economy with appreciating assets and self-rewarding power structures - a new old boys’ network, of sorts. For most, however, this is not the norm. Graduating into the recession(s) that began in 2008 has plagued most Gen Y’s throughout their careers. Many jobs have been replaced by smart-o-mation. Traditional entry-level and manual jobs and those filled by newcomers in the hotel and service industries suffered with the increasing costs of fuel and travel. Except for hands-on care for seniors, skills for most roles are interchangeable. Generation Y’s degrees are wasted at jobs that offer low satisfaction. Large corporate monopolies are able to dictate employment terms. Individuals willing to work long hours and forgo perks without complaint are able to work their way up the ladder, but most feel pressure to compete with the younger Millennial Generation who were trained for and graduated into the new normal. Unlike their parents’ “sandwich” years of caring for children and parents simultaneously, Generation Y finds itself caring - or working - for their aging grandparents and retiring parents.


Seniors: Many Baby Boomers have passed relatively substantial wealth to children and grandchildren, reinforcing cycles of affluence and poverty. In some cases, this redistribution goes to paying debts incurred by younger family members. Some Boomers are living longer but quality of life is not guaranteed. Providing private virtual and physical care for seniors is a significant portion of the economy of the city. As Generation X approaches 65, many of these seniors are reluctant to give up paying jobs since trends toward both longer and shorter life expectancies make retirement planning uncertain for them. Giving up a job almost certainly means exiting the workforce permanently. Many in Generation X find themselves caring for both aged parents and grown children. Developers: As bricks and mortar retail evacuated, developers began to retrofit shopping malls and big box stores into multi-use mini-cities. These reclamation projects are the new incarnation of factory loft fads of the 2000’s. Others have put Toronto’s Tower Renewal (include reference) financing arrangements to use infilling poorly used spaces between apartment towers with retail and services. These regions of Toronto have become affluent, and developers riding out their long-term financing contracts that leveraged public money for private projects are enjoying great increases in wealth. Many of the glass walled condominiums thrown up in the city from 1995-2015 are in decay. Those on the most desirable lands have been redeveloped into office spaces, while much of the formerly revitalized lakeshore is lined with swaths of high density, low-income housing. 78 Â

Property owners: Many glass walled condominiums from 1995-2015 require expensive structural upgrades. As property values for these formerly glorious towers failed, former condo owners moved to larger, more stable concrete towers from the 1960’s-80’s. Those buildings revitalized with public money in the 2010’s and 20’s are most desirable since they were retrofitted and infilled specifically for energy efficiency and livability. To salvage their depreciating investments, some condo and building owners now rent to those relocated by gentrification and in need of low-rent housing. Other buildings owned by absentee landlords are in complete disrepair, with informal communities establishing themselves in vertical poverty. In these run-down squats, signals of collectivism and innovation are beginning to re-emerge. Not all those who owned glass condos fared well. For many, condo ownership represented all their capital and most of their debt. As their condo units dropped out of the middle class, so did many of these owners. Renters: In the era when long-term tower renewal contracts were signed with the owners of concrete multi-unit residential buildings (tower renewal reference), most units were occupied by lower income earners who had no equity in their apartments. They did not benefit from wealth generated by these improvements, and most were easily displaced as rents increased or buildings turned into condos serving those with higher incomes. Many low-income earners have relocated to the decaying glass towers downtown and along the lakeshore. The once-beautiful buildings are leaky, costly to operate, neglected, and in some cases unsafe. Residents’ associations are unsupported. City departments still have assets tied up in contracts with owners of the concrete towers built decades earlier. The former “priority neighbourhoods” have moved, and the City bureaucracy struggles to catch up.




SO WHAT? ASSESSING IMPLICATIONS FOR STAKEHOLDERS Wind tunneling: “Wind tunneling can be thought of as an intellectual exercise for testing the fitness of an idea or concept, much as a wind tunnel tests the fitness of an airplane or automobile design. In a wind tunneling exercise, a concept, product, process, or even a persona is placed into a future scenario and the team assigned to develop that scenario visualizes how it would be represented, if at all, in that particular future. In the strategic dialogue that generates scenarios, wind tunneling offers a process by which elements of a system can be played against possible futures to reveal the different ways in which those elements might influence, and be influenced by, other factors in the scenario. The process forces the organization to challenge assumptions and fosters creativity in imagining scenarios.” - Microsoft Higher Education - White papers. (n.d.). To identify strategies that might achieve the objectives of the imaginary but grounded-in-reality strategic funding alliance, Federation X, several factors were considered: The long – 20 year horizon – timeline for this exploration The relatively slow manner in which city development and planning cycles, granting cycles, infrastructure changes and community relocations unfold Input from two project ambassadors pertaining to the challenges they are currently considering in this realm That certain elements are predetermined – barring unanticipated and substantial friction, these elements will have a significant and relatively predictable influence on the future That multiple drivers will interact less predictably and could produce various possible futures The possibility and likelihood that sudden disruptions and wildcard factors will arise over the 20 year horizon The understanding that all and none of the envisioned scenarios will come “true” – the scenarios represent thinking, imagining and planning tools, rather than predictions – and reality will include factors from each Potential strategies emerged from these factors. Each was considered in the context of the four scenarios, or possible futures, that were synthesized earlier in process to answer: 1) Yes, this works, 2) This does not work, or 3) When should an alternative be considered 81





1. Alleviating poverty for seniors


Broad benefits


2. Multi-use zoning


Broad benefits


Highly beneficial

Broad benefits


% X

Broad benefits



% X

- explore alternatives

3. Fostering virtual communities

>< 4. Optimize concrete % tower renewal


Broad benefits

4. Intervene in glass towers


5. Short-term in economic issues (e.g. commercial kitchens)


6. Transit + mobility improvements


7. Augmenting data gathering


8. Fostering bartering & sharing economies






Minimally beneficial

Detrimental - explore alternatives


Detrimental - explore alternatives


Broad benefits




Detrimental - explore alternatives





Broad benefits


Detrimental - explore alternatives



Highly beneficial


Broad benefits

- explore alternatives





Detrimental - explore alternatives

%% %

Highly beneficial





Broad benefits



Broad benefits


Minimally beneficial


Minimally beneficial


Minimally beneficial


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Matured Value: Investing in Seniors Investing in alleviating poverty in seniors includes providing affordable long-term care, compensation for caregivers and accessible transportation. The Canadian population is aging. The number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to increase by 24 per cent by 2036 ( ) This indicates a historical reversal: proportionally more seniors than children in Toronto starting in 2015 (statscan, 2007). The result is an unprecedented shift in the dependency ratio. By 2030, there will be 3 working people for every person over 65 (2007). These demographic changes will have a major impact on Canada’s labour force, public pensions, health care and economic growth. In addition, the elderly make up a large percentage of those living in poverty within our city (statscan, 2007). Economic insecurity is most severe for immigrant seniors who have been in Canada for less than 10 years. In fact, the older the age at immigration, the more likely one will live in poverty, since one’s chances of being able to access public income support programs for seniors depend on length of residency in the country (Senate Committee on Aging, First Report). Seniors experienced the greatest rate of growth in poverty as a result of the recent economic downturn (Trillium, 2011). In 2008 the number of seniors living in poverty grew to 250,000, a nearly 25 percent increase from the year prior (2011). These numbers will increase without intervention. Best Practices: The most successful projects include elements of increasing mobility, inclusion, and high quality care. These aspects provide dignity and promote health throughout communities. For example, Issuing taxi vouchers to low income seniors. British Columbia’s taxi program gives people with a permanent physical or cognitive disability discounted transit cards (Handy Card) and Taxi Saver coupons. Handy cardholders can purchase discounted taxi vouchers known as “taxi savers.” (CARP, 2010). Vancouver’s regional transportation authority’s Shuttle program successfully operates small buses, known as “community shuttles,” that run through 84 neighbourhoods and deliver passengers to transit hubs for no cost (CARP, 2010).

Proposed Intervention: There is a clear opportunity for Federation X to identify, iterate, pilot, and promote strategies to reduce costs of services to seniors and deliver life-sustaining projects. This may involve creating incentives for businesses that offer transportation, healthcare or social services to seniors. This would benefit the larger community by providing employment opportunities and economic participation of the elderly and their families. The strategy promoted by Federation X changes in each world based on its relationship between government and business. Evaluation: The success of this strategy may be evaluated by the potential for financial performance, strategic fit with Federation X as well as cultural fit with Federation X. This proposed intervention could easily be adapted to each scenario to increase its potential for financial performance. For example, in the Wild West and the Privateers worlds, where there is expected to be little support for social programs from government, the intervention from Federation X can take on the model of a social enterprise. This is in contrast to The Commons and the Economy of Scale worlds where projects for seniors may be further subsidized by matching funds from the public sector and community bonds to match contributions from Federation X. This difference in financial model influences the strategic and cultural fit of this intervention for Federation X. A program that is financially self-sustaining but has even a minor monetary fee may create a barrier to participation for those who are experiencing the greatest need. On the other hand, support from large, centralized institutions such as big business or government may pose a different set of barriers to inclusion for new Canadians whose needs may not be met by the lack of diversity in options available. Therefore, a significant signpost to note is the level of supporting resources available from the public sector and community donors. An important consistency across each world is that this strategic intervention benefits the seniors and their families or Generation Y. This may be by providing essential services at free or low cost to seniors who may otherwise be living in poverty. Additionally, these programs could ease the burden of families who care for seniors in their families by taking time away from the workforce as caregivers or incurring the expenses of a dependent.

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INVEST IN MULTIUSE ZONING Zoned Out – Invest in Multi-use Zoning Mixed-use development is — in a broad sense — any urban, suburban or village development, or even a single building, that blends a combination of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections. The term may also be used more specifically to refer to a mixed-use real estate development project — a building, complex of buildings, or district of a town or city that is developed for mixed-use by a private developer, (quasi-)governmental agency, or a combination thereof. Best Practices: Comprehensive zoning is considered as a way to protect property owners whose major asset relies on the stability of the neighbourhood to retain its value from the threat of undesirable development nearby. Beyond the primary consideration of land use, zoning bylaws also take safety, environmental concerns, community aesthetics and character into consideration. Zoning considers present and possible future uses for land, the community and the overarching vision and goals of the city. Creative zoning means allowing for flexibility to encourage innovation and generate economic growth. Some urban centres are developing incentivized zoning policies to help neighbourhood development and increase affordability. Seattle uses incentive zoning to encourage affordable housing, historic preservation and public space while facilitating increased density in the downtown core. Edmonton has developed more flexible zoning policies to encourage property owners to develop mixed use properties on arterial roads via construction reimbursements and grants. For Foundation X and its mission to develop neighbourhoods that are inclusive and equitable, investment in mixed use zoning would be most impactful in the worlds of Economy of Scale and The Commons. 87


INVEST IN VIRTUAL COMMUNITY The Netbourhood: Supporting Virtual Connections to Community While neighbourhoods are physical entities, the communities that form through them will exist in the physical and virtual realms simultaneously. For Federation X virtual community development may be as important as traditional forms of community enhancement that focus on the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ world. In 2030, interactive technologies made possible by the Internet’s proliferation from desktop computers to mobile handsets to ‘the Internet of things’ will make it possible to connect people to ideas and objects more easily than ever. This has allowed virtual communities based on interest to flourish and interconnect. The term virtual community was coined by media scholar Howard Rhiengold who defined it as a network of individuals who interact through computerized media based on interests and possibly location (Rhiengold, 2000). This strategic option focuses on the establishment or support for development and maintenance of virtual community options. This may include investing in social networks, ‘apps’ (or their modern equivalent), networking infrastructure, and other means of enabling information technologies to support community development. For Federation X, the key is on maintaining support for the kind of conversations and actions that come from those conversations in the virtual world. 89

Drawing on the wind tunnel method of scenario testing (c.f. Jackson, 2011) this possible option was explored within the four identified interaction spaces (“worlds”) proposed through a process of iterative trend identification and analysis in an earlier stage of the project (see first assignment). These worlds were defined along a 2x2 matrix that used the axes of citizen participation ( individualistic/collective) and power structures behind decision making (diffuse or decentralized power/concentrated control) as the axes. The wind tunnel method is an approach that aims to explore consistency, plausibility, and relevance of the particular strategy employed within different possible futures. The aim is to anticipate issues in advance to determine whether the strategy is a good fit with the organization and under what circumstances this might be the case. The fit of the scenario was made between both worlds and specific relevant population groups identified in the analysis of trends and drivers performed at the initial stages of the project. When explored with eight key populations (stakeholders) within the four hypothesized world contexts the strategy of supporting virtual communities yields differing possible benefits across contexts. Both of the worlds associated with higher collective orientations (The Economy of Scale and The Commonists) have the greatest potential for benefits across different populations. Of the populations, Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SME), new Immigrants and the Federation itself (as an organization operating in the community) stand to benefit the most from the investment consistently across the various. Monitoring: Risks and SignPosts: Virtual communities create digital habitats where people intersect based on shared interests (Wenger, White and Smith, 2009). The degree to which these habitats emerge and flourish will determine how and when (or if) Federation X invests in supporting virtual communities and helps create the urban netbourscape. Signposts are those events or activities that indicate a trend and can guide forward action. In a Future-Backward scenario analysis (Cognitive Edge Network, 2012), these signposts can be derived from the hypothesized events back-casted from the “heaven/hell” options presented in the original scenario development. Using other scenario planning approaches, ongoing monitoring akin to environmental scanning and developmental evaluation (c.f., Patton, 2010) is sufficient to detect patterns of activity that can serve as signposts for change. 90

In the case of virtual communities, signposts may include: + Successful local petitions developed online + Government service options are made available electronically and promoted as a favoured option by civil service organizations. + Widespread use of social media by politicians, civic planners, and government or social service staff to communicate with the public (use is common or typical, not rare) + Community hosting services and platform use (e.g., Facebook) are used by more than half of the population (51% +) on a daily basis + ‘The Internet of Things’ concept is featured in active public communications planning documents and discourse + Newspapers cease paper versions Not all of these are focused solely on communities, however they are markers of a greater movement towards citizen engagement and a media ecology focused on supporting that engagement either with services or individuals. Evaluation: Van der Heijden (n.d.) suggests four criteria for evaluating strategic options: 1) financial performance, 2) risk performance, 3) strategic fit, and 4) cultural fit. Virtual community development, potentially reailized through nurturing barter networks, hosting job banks, service-to-consumer connections (e.g., virtual version of Service Ontario aspirations), amplifying and disseminating local-oriented peer-to-peer services, advocacy and support of citizen-centred cyberinfrastructure and others is likely to have a mixed financial performance in any of the world scenarios for the simple reason that Federation X is a not-for-profit organization. Financial yields will be for the community in terms of business prosperity and individual incomes and savings derived from virtual community connections and resources. Risk performance will be a relatively minor issue due to the continued low costs of connectivity and a tendency for Foundation X to support small business ventures working with established technology platforms (those with a track record). Strategic fit will require continued monitoring, although the current wind tunneling process suggests that the aforementioned scenarios would most likely provide the greatest strategic (and cultural) fit. Cultural fit is also determined by technologies ability to disrupt, providing options that are yet unseen precisely because they are culturally different. For example, seniors will not be of a generation that views native mobile and social media forms as familiar. However, it is because these are so disruptive that their possibility to radically change the nature of their interactions substantially (have a significant impact) is presented. With appropriate resources deployed to assist in reducing the cognitive dissonance associated with new technology and its ability to connect people together, investment in digital neighbourhoods could be a powerful tool for future community development. 91 Â

Moving Forward: With a current membership of more than 1 billion people, Facebook has shown that there is global desire for people to be connecting online. Airbnb, Etsy, Kickstarter and other electronic centres of interaction have further shown the desire for citizens to create, share and exchange through virtual community tools and platforms. The proliferation of mobile access to the Internet and the dawning age of the Internet of Things suggests these community connection opportunities will only expand in the next 20 years. By preparing for futures where this virtual community thrives, Federation X is ideally positioned to supporting community everywhere in Toronto and creating the inclusive, dynamic, and enriching urban netbourhoods that not only ‘raise all boats’, but network them together.

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“During this period, concrete frame apartment towers were the most popular new residential buildings in the city. Thousands of units were built in mixed neighbourhoods that included single-family homes, industry, shopping and open spaces. Today, these concrete frame towers are aging and inefficient and the open space that surrounds them is often underused.” - Tower Renewal Implementation Book (p8)

of Toronto’s 1,200 MURBs, 800 are privately owned

Peg Lahn

The structure of these concrete slab buildings remains sound, and the units are large by today’s standards. Without energy efficiency retrofits, the energy consumption and operating costs per square foot are high. The buildings are frequently isolated from groceries and other retail, medical services, child care, green space and other amenities. Unlike in other urban centres in North America, Toronto’s MURBS are widely distributed throughout all areas of the City, from downtown to the inner and outer suburbs.

Rebooting The ‘Rise: Invest in Optimizing Tower Renewal

Tower renewal refers to various initiatives launched in Toronto beginning in 2008 and designed to improve energy efficiency, livability and community in nearly 1,200 multi-unit residential buildings, or MURBs, built between 1945 and 1984. These MURBs provide the majority of rental housing in Toronto. About 800 of the buildings are privately owned. Manytower neighbourhoods house newcomers in densities that are higher than the Toronto average, and many MURBs are in regions that are currently in Toronto’s 13 Priority Neighbourhoods, with lower than average incomes and few resources.

Investing in retrofitting these concrete slab buildings and infilling poorly used space engages multiple City of Toronto departments because tower renewal achieves so many of the City’s mandates around: carbon emissions reductions, community development, urban tree canopy improvements and transit alternatives. These retrofitting strategies are driven and coordinated by the Toronto Office of Tower Renewal. The Toronto Atmospheric Fund also funds a Tower Wise program with similar objectives, with the key driver of addressing greenhouse gas emissions targets for the City by 2050.


Built for a young urban popula-on during a period of incredible growth in the ’60s and ’70s, these buildings now house some of Toronto’s poorest communi-es. In many cases, large families are living in one-­‐ or two-­‐ bedroom apartments. -­‐ Toronto Tower Renewal Office (2012) 95

“Industry experts estimate that the time needed to perform the retrofit work for all Toronto concrete frame apartment buildings is at least 20 years. Therefore, it is fair to say that at least one generation could be engaged for their entire careers in Tower Renewal activities.” (Tower Renewal Implementation Book,p38).

Peg Lahn

TOWER RENEWAL: Current Best Practices Financing Tower Renewal ini-a-ves currently involves various funding, matching and incen-ves programs for property owners, condo owners or co-­‐ops. Ini-a-ves include substan-al public funds from mul-ple levels of government. The key lies in crea-ve financing: loans, risk-­‐sharing, increasing property values without exposing landlord to risk, and ensuring landowners don’t have to borrow against mortgages. Financing models invest public dollars in private redevelopment for public benefit objec-ves. Many contracts with funders are long-­‐term: up to 20 years for TAF’s Tower Wise program. In addi-on to property wealth built through upgrades, landlords may apply for rent increases on the premise retrofits increase desirability of the building. The livability upgrades may ul-mately not benefit residents currently living in the buildings if they cannot afford new rents. Tower renewal ini-a-ves promote the best in current green technology. This includes currently available smart technologies, including -me of use meters, mo-on sensors, combined heat and power genera-on, and connected power genera-on/use districts. The City of Toronto’s Tower Renewal STEP program also incorporates support for community engagement programs, local residents’ associa-ons, common spaces, and infills to include services, retail, community gardens, recrea-on facili-es. Tower retrofits of this scale are an-cipated to create 30,000 person hours of employment, (reference) mostly in construc-on and maintenance jobs. It is the spirit of the ini-a-ve to support local job crea-on in the communi-es where tower renewal ac-vi-es are funded.


“You don’t have to move out of your neighbourhood to live in a better one” - Majora Carter TOWER RENEWAL: Should Federation X Invest? •

In three of four scenarios, investing in tower renewal provides opportunities for broad public benefit.

In one, the world of the Privateers, investing public money in privately owned towers creates a risk of mass displacement of current residents and exacerbates the divide between owners and renters. In this case, alternatives should be strongly considered.

In all cases, considering alternatives will amplify benefits of tower renewal investments in privately owned rental buildings.


APPROACH WITH CAUTION: Signposts and Alternatives IF: Retrofits, upgrades, multi-use zoning and new amenities increase desirability of Toronto’s concrete tower complexes…

THEN: Investment in tower renewal could be detrimental to the priority communities for Federation X. Implement alternatives.

WATCH FOR: Early signs of gentrification of and movement into concrete tower communities may arrive too late for an effective pivot in investment strategies for Federation X. Displacement of low income renters will already have momentum. Instead, monitor early indicators of movement out of Toronto’s glass condo towers. Signposts might include: increasing tensions and court cases among condo owners, condo associations and/or developers. Scan for trends that suggest decreasing public confidence in window-walled towers. 98


FOR FEDERATION X, there is an opportunity to optimize positive outcomes of tower renewal strategies in all four possible futures by identifying, iterating, piloting, evaluating and promoting strategies to leverage equity development for renters in privately owned tower renewal projects. Supporting equity and wealth building among renters can mitigate against displacement risks if rents increase as properties are upgraded. In some cases, this may involve amplifying job creation opportunities already embedded in tower renewal initiatives. More than this, Foundation X should actively explore innovative models of equity building for community members and renters by exploring the “half a good house� model Chile (see Helsinki Design Lab), community bonds, micro-investments and any options that could mitigate against rent hikes and mass displacement resulting from property upgrades. Promoting infill development, and common space redevelopment that is modular and agile will extend the useful life of renewal strategies in the face of changing and emerging community needs.

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PROJECT TEAM A four-person interdisciplinary member group from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCADU spent three months exploring this topic, who prepared two separate dossiers based on scenarios generated by two two-person teams. The two smaller teams were advised by two ambassadors from the community and two OCADU faculty.


Peg Lahn brings communities and policy makers together for systems change on complex social issues. She comes to OCAD U from the public benefit sectors where she works with diverse stakeholders to generate and implement new solutions to old and emerging challenges. Â As principal with Free Up Good consulting, she catalyzes design, strategy and collaboration to do good on a grand scale. Previously, Peg led policy reforms that restored equitable access to critical services at all levels of government in the post 9/11 turmoil. She has served as a grant maker at the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Wellesley Institute, and Community One Foundation. She has a Masters (Administration, Planning and Social Policy) in public benefit leadership from Harvard University. She continues to inform policy, and is an advisor to agencies across the for-benefit sectors.

Cameron Norman works with health and human service organizations on developing and evaluating strategies to enhance the way communities live, work and play through research and design for the the public good. His work combines systems thinking, design and behavioral science with the tools of critical education, communications and evaluation. Cameron is the Principal of CENSE Research + Design, a social innovation consultancy studio and a faculty member with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Cameron holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, a doctorate in public health and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in systems thinking and knowledge translation. His focus within the Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program at OCADU is on the process and outcomes associated with training and evaluation of design thinking for social innovation.

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AMBASSADORS Collette Murphy: With over 20 years working in the civil society sector, Colette has worked on a wide range of issues including in the areas of immigration and settlement, community development, and equity and diversity. Prior to joining the Metcalf Foundation as the Inclusive Local Economies Director, she held leadership positions at United Way Toronto. Through her professional affiliations, Colette has served in an advisory capacity on numerous initiatives, most recently as a member of the Ontario Government’s Social Assistance Review Advisory Council. She is currently a board member with the Wellesley Institute and will be joining the Atkinson Foundation as its new Executive Director in December, 2012. Robert Oullette: Robert Ouellette uses the overlap of technology, sustainability, design, and capital to empower the cities of tomorrow while enhancing the global competitiveness of the businesses and people who inhabit them. (see His innovative work has major international corporations, non-profits, and local governments. He designed the market-disrupting VC-400 smart terminals that were the iPads of their time. His theories on integrated city design earned a City of Toronto Urban Design Award influencing the Entertainment District master plan while his online initiative to improve Toronto's transit system sparked a crowd-sourcing event Harvard Business Review called a breakthrough business idea of 2008. Robert holds an honours degree in Architecture from the U of T, an Ivey MBA, and is also a National Newspaper Award nominee.


Greg van Alstyne is a futurist, design educator and creative director with twenty-five years of experience in communication and experience design, art direction, and design strategy. He has developed graphic, environmental and interaction design for publishers, agencies and brands in Canada, United States and Europe. Greg is a frequent lecturer at national and international events. Prior to his appointment at OCAD, Greg was the inaugural director of the Institute without Boundaries, a post-graduate, interdisciplinary design program established by Bruce Mau Design and George Brown College. He directed and mentored student teams in the conception, development and production of Massive Change: The Future of Global Design, a multi-platform project including an international exhibition, book, events and other public outcomes. He was also project leader for 2020 Media Futures ( Gre’s current research directions include cross-platform Internet futures, the relationship between design and emergence in complex systems, and the future of the book. He co-teaches the Strategic Foresight studio course with Suzanne Stein. Suzanne Stein is a Foresight Analyst, Mentor, and Educator. Her research Interests include: Working exclusively in the domain of New Technologies, practice domains span Business Strategy, Organizational Change, and Experience Design. Focusing on innovative approaches and methods; she is a leader in foresight and ethnographic techniques, and on the prowl for more mechanisms for positive change. She also works with the CFC Media Lab where she holds a Faculty post. Prior to joining OCAD University, Suzanne was with SMARTlab in the UK where she was Deputy Director and Principal Research Fellow in Technology Futures. She was formerly a member of Nokia’s Insight & Foresight group, which studied emerging trends and identified new business opportunities created by disruptive technological and market developments. Previously at Sapient Corporation, a business and technology consultancy, Suzanne was the Discipline Lead for the Experience Modeling (XMod) group in London and a Director in the User Experience Group, overseeing Creative development and articulation as well as the Research offerings. Prior to this, she was the Director of Insights and Director of Project Management at Xcorporation, a communications and design firm. Suzanne is also the Founder of the research company Everyday Life.




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All images property of the authors, used by permission, or licensed under Creative Commons or paid license from: Peg Lahn (pp. 7, 14, 15, 17, 19a, 62a, 68b/d, 73-75, 80, 83, 86, 88, 94, 96,100b/d, 103, 113) Cameron Norman (pp.5, 6, 8, 13, 16, 19b, 20, 22, 32, 34, 35, 39, 41, 44, 47, 48, 61, 62c, 64, 90, 95, 97, 98, 99) Anita Young (pp. 17, 19c, 62b, 68a/c, 71-72, 76-79, 80, 93, 100a/c) Shutterstock iStockPhoto Others: Cover, pp. 4, 10, 19d, 66, 69, 70 by Bert Kaufmann used under Creative Commons License p.10: Disrupt by Paul Woot: used under Creative Commons License p.25: Times Square NY by Francsico Diez set-72157620963535894 used under Creative Commons License p. 54 Speed of Sound by Ana Patricia Almeida used under Creative Commons License p.35: brokenglass_jjb@nalog.jpg used under Crea-ve Commons License p.16: Compass by Amir Taj hjp://­‐2Yhl5LN-­‐EBU used under Crea-ve Commons License 112


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