An urban strategy has been described as “a framework of reflection geared to regenerating towns and cities for the benefit of their inhabitants” (Francois Delarue, 2002 in the book Projets Urbaine en France). Urban strategies may take several forms, including the development or embellishment of public spaces, central commercial areas, recreational areas, experiments in the development of business/residential districts (such as Transit Oriented Design), the rejuvenation of neighborhoods, and many more. There is an ever-growing presence within Canadian cities to strategically implement change. How are these changes being realized through urban design? How do cities of different sizes go about reinventing themselves? And what is the importance of landscape architecture and ecology in the redevelopment of Canadian urban centers?
The research is focused upon current and recent urban strategies being undertaken across Canada. Looking at Canada's major cities, the work will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions behind the urban strategies that are being adopted (such as smart growth, sustainable community, ecological urbanism, etc.), and to illustrate how urban strategies are being realized through urban design. Furthermore, the work will aim at demonstrating how integral landscape architecture and ecology are in establishing comprehensive urban design strategies. Urban design encompasses a wide spectrum of methods, it is important throughout this research to illustrate the range of approaches taken across the country rather than concentrating on a single design approach or strategy. With that said, it is through these cases studies of Canadian cities, that we can begin to unveil the implementation of change.
Canadian Urban Strategies was established in 2017 by Dr. Richard Perron, a professor at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Architecture, in the Department of Landscape Architecture. Dr. Perron has been concentrating his graduate studio/research work on problems surrounding flood architecture, urban ecology, post-industrial urbanism, and urban infrastructure. He views his student’s studio projects as “strange collections of stories, enjoyed individually but best understood when considered as a whole.” His intentions in creating Canadian Urban Strategies was to provide students, professionals, and researchers with a platform to discover urban design projects that are unique to Canada. His interests lie in how urban design and landscape architecture can change the urban fabric of a city. Through the help of his student researchers (Desiree Theriault, Zoe Goldmna, Samantha Miller, and Nicole Brekelmans), he has been able to develop this website over the past 3 years. The students have been able to compile over 70 case studies of projects across Canada.