City seeking architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners for Urban Design Advisory panel.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel is seeking architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners as members for its second term, 2020-2022.

Lakeshore looking east to Brant north side

With decent weather it is hard to find a seat – design at its best.

The mandate of the Urban Design Advisory Panel is to provide independent, objective and professional urban design advice to the Community Planning Department on tall and mid-rise buildings, five storeys or greater, and public development projects, studies and policy initiatives to help achieve design excellence in the city.

Burlington is at a unique time in its history. With very little green-field left for development of suburban-type neighbourhoods, the city can no longer grow out. Instead, it must grow from within its existing urban area.

Candidates for the positions on the Advisory Panel will be highly qualified design professionals and currently possess full membership for a minimum of ten years in at least one of the following professional associations:

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA);
Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA);
Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA);
Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) or
Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI).

Candidates will also have a broad range of professional design experience such as:

a. Domestic and international work portfolio;
b. Variety of project scales and types including tall, mid-, and low-rise buildings;
c. Demonstrated leadership in city building;
d. Construction techniques, financial management and feasibility;
e. Application of sustainable design methods.

The panel will meet once a month, during regular business hours. Each meeting will be approximately four hours long with a maximum of three projects reviewed per meeting. All members will receive a per diem for participation on the panel to cover expenses for a meal and travel, including mileage or transportation costs associated with travel to each meeting, site visits and parking.

There is additional information on the Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel; please visit www.burlington.ca/UDP

Candidates should submit:

a. A cover letter and CV summarizing their qualifications, experience and interest in participating on Burlington’s Urban Design Advisory Panel;

b. Confirmation to have suitable flexibility to attend all meetings during their term; and

c. The ability to provide independent, objective, professional urban design advice to the City of Burlington Community Planning Department.

Submissions should be received by Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 via email to:

Todd Evershed, MCIP, RPP
Urban Designer, City of Burlington
todd.evershed@burlington.ca
905-335-7600, ext.7870

Selected candidates will be contacted in early February to arrange an interview with City staff, if necessary.

Some questions:
What impact has the Panel had on design in the city so far?

Have they ever submitted a report that suggest the development before them needs a lot of revisions or do they submit polite reports and wash their hands of it all?

Brant street getting ready

During the Sound of Music Festival Brant Street gets turned into a space where people can walk around and enjoy the space. There were once members of a previous council that wanted the street closed to traffic.

The architecture of a community is what gives the streets life; a sense of place; a street that you want to walk along and spend some time on a park bench.

nautique-elevation-from-city-july-2016

Good design, stunning in many ways – just in the wrong place.

The Gazette points to the wide space between the sidewalk edge and the edge of the buildings on the north side of Lakeshore Road between Locust and Brant and suggest this is superb design.  And yet when the building was going through site approval the Director of Planning told the Gazette that convincing the developers that the wide patio was a good idea wasn’t an easy sell.  Space at the tables is hard to find when the weather is fine – the buzz of the people enjoying themselves and looking out over the lake can’t be bought. Traffic is far enough away to not be objectionable.

This is what the Gazette hopes the panel will subscribe to – so far we’ve not seen very much in the way of positive critical comment from the panel.

There is some exceptionally good work being done. Say what you will about the Adi Group but they have done some fine work. Their Nautique, which is in the wrong place, is nevertheless good design. Their Moder’n on Guelph Line is another very good example.

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4 comments to City seeking architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners for Urban Design Advisory panel.

  • Alfred

    Roland the problem with your suggestion is that no 2 people think exactly alike. What 1 womans garbage is another womans gold. Some like futuristic designs. Some like less modern designs. Some like both. So who would you choose? A Real estate agent who has experience in condos would be an asset in terms of what the latest buying trends are. Remember the people who buy condos in these buildings are ultimately the ones who should have a say in what they look like. Well how about the evil developer/builder who owns the building. Who has more experience than the rest of the folks combined. The reasons they build high-rises is because they have risen to the pinnacle of homebuilding. Usually a sign that they are very good of what they do. Check out the above photo of the good design, stunning in many ways picture of what the private sector does. Over regulating any industry usually kills it. If you or anyone else cares to explain why we only built 50 single family homes in all of Burlington in 2019 a City of 180,000 people? We don’t need anymore time and money wasting layers of regulations in Burlington.

  • Joe Gaetan

    Good design? Says who,? Beauty is, without question, in the eyes of the beholder. Are the above stated beauties interesting? Absolutely not.Nor will our new and improved downtown buildings be interesting, with or without this panel.

  • Perryb

    Agreed, Roland. The whole issue of public art is an example. There are some interesting examples in dumb locations that any citizen could have spotted before was too late.

  • Roland Tanner

    While I get the argument for professional expertise, personally I still think there should be a significant non-specialist resident component. Residents are the ones who will live with, use and experience whatever these people recommend.

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