Sustainability in Toronto : a Personal Rapid Transit System and a Community Development Plan for Cherry Beach

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för teknokultur, humaniora och samhällsbyggnad; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för teknokultur, humaniora och samhällsbyggnad

Abstract:

Between October 2007 and January 2008 we got the chance to live in Toronto, the most diverse city in the world. Our choice of study has been to explore how sustainabile city planning can be dealt with in a new community of the Central Waterfront of Toronto. The themes presented by us are a new transportation system to decrease our oil-dependency and how to weave environmental and social sustainability together. Focus has been on a new transit system in the form of a Personal Rapid Transit System, which is simplified a system of loops of guideways with small pods that takes you from A to B without stops on the way. Ideas of PRT was introduced in the 60s, and is by its forespokers quick, environmentally friendly, reliable, convenient and cheap. It takes on the challenge to attract people who rather take the car in everyday life. A PRT system between Toronto Downtown and Port Land area as a way to decrease barriers and connecting new and existing built environment. Further, the Swedish model of Hammarby Sjöstad, has attracted city planners from all over the world, among them Canadians working with the transformation of the Central Waterfront into becoming new mixed communities. The Hammarby sjöstad model is a great example of new urbanism with focus on the environmental part of the sustainability concept. But what can be seen as missing is diversity. Diversity is a key word in Toronto with a couple of well visited neighbourhoods, Kensington Market and the Islands that can be seen as everyday urbanism areas. Still newly built areas at the Central Waterfront were missing these qualities. This led to a focus of what benefits and problems that can occur in weaving environmental and social sustainability together, using ideas of both new urbanism and everyday urbanism in building a new community. This thesis is the result of our ideas of sustainable city planning and presents a planning proposal for Cherry beach at the Waterfront of Toronto.

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