Now that judging is apparently finished, I can go public with my submission to the Urban Land Institute’s 2014 Urban Ideas Competition for Toronto. The purpose of the competition was to develop an idea that would reunite Toronto with its waterfront, somehow overcoming the barriers posed by the Gardiner Expressway, railroad corridor, and Lake Shore Boulevard.

My submission, which I developed with a colleague (Matt Kelling), was the ShoreLine Aerial Skyway, a gondola system that zig-zags back and forth across the Gardiner as it travels east and west. You can see the details of our submission in the two posters below.

I fleshed out the idea more fully in a paper that I submitted for one of my classes this semester. On the whole, I think it’s fairly compelling, although there’s no way it could actually be built as I’ve proposed it. Entering the contest was an extracurricular activity, but assembling our submission was nevertheless a great educational opportunity. It especially allowed me to acquire and practice some new 3D rendering and GIS skills.

While Ori and I were in Chicago last week, I even had a call from a reporter at the Toronto Star who wanted to interview me about the idea. I’ll post a link to his piece if it is ever published. Here are some of my better renderings in a larger size:

Faded BMO v2
Faded Canoe v4
Faded Gardiner v5
We’ll find out how we did on Wednesday, when ULI is holding an awards event at the TIFF Lightbox. I’m a bit nervous, but also quite excited!

There is also a “people’s choice” award in the contest, for the submission that gains the most “likes” on the ULI Facebook page. We’re tied for third place right now, so any help winning that competition will be welcome, too! Vote here.

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