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New Resource--Conference Highlights, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation

On Oct 5-6, 2014, hundreds of people gathered in Toronto for TCAT's 7th annual Complete Streets Forum (http://http://tcat.ca/completestreetsforum2014) to share ideas and learn from practitioners and researchers from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and around the world.

The conference featured 4 keynote speakers, 55 break-out session speakers, 5 hands-on workshop leaders, 20 moderators, 10 walking and cycling tour leaders, and over 200 participants. Throughout the two days this talented and passionate group engaged in an open knowledge exchange about why we need Complete Streets, how to make the case for them, how to build them, and how to effectively engage the public in the process.

Some highlights included:

  • Dr. John Pucher's presentation, "Streets for Everyone: Lessons from Cities across the Globe", which explored trends in multi-modal infrastructure from around the world.
  • Dr. Jeannette Montufar's presentation "Completing the Paradigm Shift in Street Planning and Design: Who’s your Client?", discussing the paradigm shift in street design over the past few decades, and the work that remains in planning streets for all users.
  • Dr. David McKeown's presentation "Designing Streets for Health", exploring the ability of complete streets to improve physical activity, and traffic safety.
  • The closing plenary panel moderated by Toronto's Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat that told the inspiring story about building champions for a Complete Street on Eglinton, an important Toronto avenue.

TCAT's Director Nancy Smith Lea ended the day reflecting on how far we've come since 2010 when TCAT first started championing Complete Streets for Canada. Now policies and guidelines are being developed across the country. But she urged Canadians to keep pushing until we make Complete Streets the "new normal."

TCAT is committed to continuing to build a rich body of on-line resources to advance walking and cycling, including presentations from all of our seven Forums to date. The presentations from the 2014 Forum are now available online: http://www.tcat.ca/completestreetsforum2014/presentations.

Over the coming months we will upload videos and produce a summary report. Fantastic photos taken by our talented team of photographers here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/torontocat/sets/72157646462418004/.

Many thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, to the high-calibre of presentations by our speakers, for the invaluable organizational assistance from our staff, our program advisory committee and 16 dedicated volunteers, and to all of the participants who are working to complete our streets across Canada!