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Azure January February 2023 issue cover

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The Housing Multitudes Symposium

Uniting urban scholars, designers, planners, community developers and policy specialists, the Housing Multitudes Symposium will focus on what is being forgotten or ignored in the proposed “solutions” to housing shortages and affordability that Ontario’s Bill 23, and Toronto’s Housing Action Plan, seek to address.

The workshops will focus on two questions:

  1. How can “first growth” suburban neighbourhoods and communities transform the physical infrastructure that surrounds them for greater economic, social, and ecological benefit?
  2. What planning, finance and design strategies can Toronto leverage to evolve its vast suburban geography in a way that accommodates its housing needs, makes communities more liveable and contributes to the sustainability of the city? And how might we pilot these ideas?

The symposium’s workshops will be followed by a lecture, entitled Freedom Schools for Accountable Architecture, by Jae Shin and Damon Rich, principals of the Newark-based urban design, planning and civic arts practice HECTOR.

Posing questions such as “Where do roads come from?”, popular educators in the US Black Freedom Movement have long used discussions about architecture and the built environment to unpack ideas of citizenship, politics, and power. People’s observations and analyses of built form offer insights into the surroundings we share and opportunities for collective action to change it. In this lecture, Shin and Rich will share stories from their attempts to learn from this tradition of popular education as a resource for architecture, urban design and planning.

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