Urban Defender

Urban Defender: More Advice: Addressing the Developer Perception Challenge

Thursday, June 16, 2005

More Advice: Addressing the Developer Perception Challenge

The development industry, while made up of many disparate people, is by and large made up of people who not only care about making a living and providing value for investors and customers, but people who believe in City building and are inherently optimistic about the future.

In recent years, before any of the justly celebrated arts building projects got off the ground, developers largely, but not exclusively, focused in the central core of Toronto were already leading the beginnings of an “architectural renaissance” and proving that this was also something that “sold.”

Leading architects, heritage experts, planners and urban designers work with the development industry. And yet among the politically active middle class in many established neighbourhoods there remains a vocal opposition to or suspicion of the development industry. One can put this down to prejudice and the already noted NIMBY-AMNE syndrome or one can seek to address it—to see it as an opportunity for an important industry to seek a PR victory and a grassroots victory by providing more opportunities for public education, engagement and consultation. Through its practice, its approach to consultation and the opportunities it provides for value-added experiences that it is more than industry but also a valued and integral part of the City’s socio-economic-cultural fabric.

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