Submitted by Carla Guerrera, Senior Urban Planner (Vancouver, BC)
|Aerial view of the planned West Don Lands |
along Toronto's waterfront
Urban development has been the cornerstone of my career. So when the opportunity arose to help build an emerging urban development team at Stantec, in BC, it was quite intriguing.
From managing the redevelopment of the West Don Lands, an 80-acre brownfield site on the Toronto waterfront, into an award-winning, vibrant, mixed-use, sustainable neighbourhood, to redeveloping former gas station sites into mixed-use, transit-oriented developments in Metro Vancouver, utilizing our existing urban land to accommodate growth is where the magic happens. My practice goal is to bring creative solutions to underutilized and existing sites to meet client and community needs and ensure successful projects.
Urban development opportunities are never straightforward and require innovative, thoughtful solutions. I love untying the knots, the complexities, whether they are financial, regulatory, design-related, environmental, political, or community-related. From implementing Canada’s first Woonerfs (Dutch shared-space streets), to an innovative model for an new transit-corridor (Cherry Street), to getting the first park approved underneath an overpass structure (Underpass Park), I have enjoyed the challenges of how we can improve our existing urban contexts while accommodating growth in a sustainable way.
|The proposed new transit corridor along|
Cherry Street in Toronto
Professional planners play a key role in leading this process with the community for urban development opportunities. Practice needs to be thoughtful, design-focused and responsive, both for the buildings and the public realm. Public and private partners need to work together because the sweet spot for success for urban development lies in those private and public sector partnerships.
As a large, national, multidisciplinary firm with strong practices in planning, landscape architecture, architecture, transportation, engineering, and sustainability, Stantec is well-positioned to put this into practice—to implement a more sustainable model of urban development in Canadian communities, and to do it with a strong integrated design team, ensuring successful projects.
And through Stantec’s vision and commitment to developing an Urban Development team, it is being put into practice.
That is why I joined Stantec.